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With  Biographical  Sketches  of  Representative  Citizens  and 
Genealogical  Records  of  Many  of  the  Old  Families 



B.  F.  BOWEN  &  COMPANY,  Inc. 

Indianapolis,  Indiana 


'^X  AND  I 

riATfO.NS        I 

-— — jj 

This  work  is  respectfully  dedicated  to 


long  since  departed.     May  the  memory  of  those  who  laid  down  their  burdens 
by  the  wayside   ever  be    fragrant   as   the  breath  of   summer 
flowers,  for  their  toils  and  sacrifices  have  made 
Audubon  County  a  garden  of  sun- 
shine and  delights. 


Time  flies,  never  to  return.  Sixty- four  years  have  flown  since  the  set- 
tlement of  Audubon  county.  That  period  Hes  behind;  the  future  is  before 
us.  Posterity  will  eagerly  scan  every  source  of  information  to  be  found 
concerning  the  history  of  their  forbears.  It  is  the  duty  to  future  genera- 
tions to  perpetuate  the  history  of  our  people.  The  best  time  to  write  history 
is  at  the  time  of  its  passage;  but,  in  large  measure,  this  has  been  neglected 
to  the  present  time.  Our  people  have  been  too  busy  in  home-making  and  in 
wresting  sustenance  from  a  new  country;  their  lives  too  fully  occupied  with 
the  duties,  necessities  and  cares  of  every-day  life,  and  often  too  poor  to 
devote  time  or  attention  to  preserving  records  of  the  events  of  their  lives  and 
acts.  When  they  passed  away,  perhaps  brief  obituaries  or  grave-stones 
recited  their  names,  ages,  etc.,  all  that  is  now  known  about  them;  even  this 
is  often  wanting.  Some  of  the  history  of  our  people  can  be  found  in  the 
public  records;  the  newspapers  contain  mention  of  individuals  and  events 
that  have  transpired;  church  and  society  records  tell  of  their  memberships; 
the  monuments  of  the  dead  record  names  and  dates  of  births  and  deaths  of 
those  who  lie  in  the  cemeteries ;  the  family  Bibles  are  repositories  of  the 
records  of  others. 

The  unit  of  history  is  the  individual;  it  proceeds  into  the  family,  the 
neighborhood,  town,  county  and  state  relations;  the  aggregate  forms  the 
history  of  a  given  people. 

Three  principal  events  enter  into  the  lives  of  persons — births,  marriages 
and  deaths.  The  record  of  marriages  were  by  law  required  to  be  kept  before 
the  settlement  of  this  county,  and  we  find  such  records  kept  from  the  organ- 
ization of  the  county.  It  is  doubtful  if  all  marriages  which  have  occurred 
here  since  then  have  been  recorded  here;  many  of  our  people  were  married 
before  settlement,  and  some  were  married  outside  the  county.  The  records 
of  births  and  deaths  were  not  required  by  law  to  be  kept  until  long  after  the 
settlement  of  the  county,  and  were  not  kept  for  many  years.  Our  public 
vital  statistics  are  far  from  complete.  It  is  impossible  at  the  present  time  to 
discover  accurate  vital  statistics  of  all  people  who  have  lived  here,  and  this  is 
especially  true  of  the  early  settlers.     The  current  events  of  the  daily  lives  of 

the  people  have  become  in  larj^a"  measure  obsolete ;  ibe  early  settlers  have 
mostly  passed  away,  and  the  memories  of  the  few  remaining  with  us  are 
imperfect,  their  recollections  of  early  events  l)eing  often  contradictory.  Most 
that  occurred  here  in  early  times,  except  such  as  is  of  record,  has  been  for- 
gotten, never  to  be  recalled.  It  is  remarkable  that  so  many  events  of  early 
times  have  been  rescued  from  oblivion  at  this  late  day. 

It  has  been  the  purpose  of  this  work  to  compile  and  preserve  some  of 
the  principal  events  and  affairs  that  have  transpired  in  Audubon  county  since 
its  foundation,  in  the  year  185 1,  gathered  from  every  available  source  dis- 
covered, for  future  reference  and  use. 

In  its  preparation  the  writer  has  been  assisted  by  very  many  persons, 
too  numerous  to  mention  even  by  name,  who  have  been  universally  kind  in 
imparting  information,  and  w^ho  are  entitled  to  my  profound,  kindest  thanks, 
as  well  as  to  the  gratitude  of  the  countless  posterity  wdio  may  rejoice  in  find- 
ing their  contributions. 

Exira.  Iowa,  June,  1915.  H.  F.  Andrews. 


All  life  and  achievement  is  evolution;  present  wisdom  comes  from  past 
experience,  and  present  commercial  prosperity  has  come  only  from  past  exer- 
tion and  suffering.  The  deeds  and  motives  of  the  men  who  have  gone  before 
have  been  instrumental  in  shaping  the  destinies  of  later  communities  and 
state.  The  development  of  a  new  county  was  at  once  a  task  and  a  privi- 
lege. It  required  great  courage,  sacrifice  and  privation.  Compare  the  pres- 
ent conditions  of  the  people  of  Audubon  county,  Iowa,  with  what  they 
were  seventy  years  ago.  From  a  trackless  wilderness  and  virgin  land, 
it  has  come  to  be  a  center  of  prosperity  and  civilization,  with  millions  of 
wealth,  systems  of  railways,  grand  educational  institutions,  splendid  indus- 
tries and  immense  agricultural  and  mineral  productions.  Can  any  think- 
ing person  be  insensible  to  the  fascination  of  the  study  which  discloses  the 
aspirations  and  efforts  of  the  early  pioneers  who  so  strongly  laid  the  founda- 
tion upon  which  has  been  reared  the  magnificent  prosperity  of  later  days?  To 
perpetuate  the  story  of  these  people  and  to  trace  and  record  the  social,  polit- 
ical and  industrial  progress  of  the  community  from  its  first  inception  is  the 
function  of  the  local  historian.  A  sincere  purpose  to  preserve  facts  and  per- 
sonal memoirs  that  are  deserving  of  perpetuation,  and  which  unite  the  pres- 
ent to  the  past,  is  the  motive  for  the  present  publication.  A  specially  valuable 
and  interesting  department  is  that  one  devoted  to  the  sketches  of  representa- 
tive citizens  of  this  county  whose  records  deserve  preservation  because  of 
their  worth,  effort  and  accomplishment.  The  publishers  desire  to  extend 
their  thanks  to  the  gentlemen  who  have  so  faithfully  labored  to  this  end. 
Thanks  are  also  due  to  the  citizens  of  Audubon  county  for  the  uniform  kind- 
ness with  which  they  have  regarded  this  undertaking,  and  for  their  many 
services  rendered  in  the  gaining  of  necessary  information. 

In  placing  the  "History  of  Audubon  County,  Iowa,"  before  the  citizens, 
the  publishers  can  conscientiously  claim  that  they  have  carried  out  the  plan 
as  outlined  in  the  prospectus.  Every  biographical  sketch  in  the  work  has 
been  submitted  to  the  party  interested,  for  correction,  and  therefore  any  error 
of  fact,  if  there  be  any,  is  solely  due  to  the  person  for  whom  the  sketch  was 
prepared.  Confident  that  our  effort  to  please  will  fully  meet  the  appro- 
bation of  the  public,  we  are, 





Location  of  Audubon  County — Area — Natural  Features — Native  Grasses — 
Prairie  Fires — The  Soil— The  Rivers  and  Water  System— Timber  and 
Groves — The  Indians — Their  Habits,  Customs  and  Sports — Incidents  Con- 
cerning the  Relations  of  the  Red  Men  and  the  Whites — An  Indian  Apollo — 
Wild  Animals — A  Hunter's  Paradise — A  Pen  Picture  of  Early  Times  Here — 
Names  of  Rivers  and  Places. 


How  Named — Legislative  Enactments  Relating  to  Creation  of  the  County 
— Subsequent  Changes  in  Boundaries — An  Injustice  to  Audubon  County — 
First  County  Election— Locating  the  County  Seat— Political  Organizations 
— Congressional  Districts— Senatorial  Districts— Representative  Districts — 
Judicial  Districts— Constitutional  Convention  District— Civil  Townships- 
County  Seat  Aspirations — Organization  of  New  Townships — Unsatisfactory 
Boundaries — Subsequent  Changes — Pioneer  Conditions  and  Improvements — 
Live  Stock— First  Death  in  the  Settlement— Mills. 


Representatives  in  Congress — Judges  of  the  District  Court — Judges  of  the 
Circuit  Court — Attorney-General — State  Senators — Representatives  in  Leg- 
islature— County  Judges — Treasurers  and  Recorders — Clerks  of  Court — 
County  Attorneys — County  Auditors — County  Treasurers — County  Record- 
e^rs — Sheriflfs — ^Superintendents  of  School — County  Surveyors — Coroners — 
Soldier   Relief   Commission — Boards   of   Supervisors. 


Before  the  Settlement — The  Mormon  Trail — Government  Surveyors — First 
Settlement — The  Actual  First  Settler — Settlers  Who  Came  Before  1861 — 
Old  Settlers  Now  Residing  in  the  County — The  Homesteaders — Railroad 
Lands — Squatters — Contentions  with  the  Railroads — First  Events — Early 
Marriages — First  Settlers  in  the  Several  Townships. 


The  Hamlin  Family — Nathaniel  Hamlin — William  P.  Hamlin — The  Jenkinses 
— Dr.  Samuel  M.  Ballard — David  Edgerton — Reuben  Carpenter — The  Heaths 
— A  Noted  Character — The  Herricks — Hon.  Daniel  M.  Harris — The  Lewises 
— Rev.  Richard  C.  Meek — The  Hallocks — Other  Prominent  Pioneers  of  the 



Dates  and  Location  of  Surveys,  and  by  Whom  Made — Surveyors'  Notes — 
Original  Entries  of  Government  Lands — Some  Early  Conveyances  of  Land. 


Origin  of  First  Settlers — Trend  of  First  Elections — Much  Local  Excitement 
in  Early  Campaigns — Tricky  Politics — County-Seat  Contests  and  Other 
Noteworthy  Events. 


Dayton  Chosen  the  County  Seat — Sale  of  Town  Lots — Holding  of  the  First 
Court — First  Court  Officers — First  Jury — Petition  for  Removal  of  County  Seat 
to  Viola — EflForts  to  Move  it  to  Hamlin — "Woods  Rats" — Contest  Between 
Exira  and  Audubon — Intemperate  Newspaper  Editorials — Election  for  New 
Court  House. 


Old  Mormon  Trail  and  Other  Early  Highways — Laying  Out  of  State  and 
County  Roads — Bridges — Modern  Road-building — Railroads — Hack  Lines, 
Stages  and  Mail  Lines. 


Population  in  1865 — Union  Soldiers  from  this  County — Drafts — Organization 
of  a  Local  Militia  Company — Muster  Rolls — The  Audubon  County  Rifle- 
men— War-time   Incidents. 


List  of  Audubon  County  Lawyers,  Past  and  Present,  with  Residences  and 
Periods  of  Practice. 


List  of  Physicians,  Past  and  Present,  Who  Have  Practiced  in  Audubon 
County,  with   Residences  and   Periods  of  Practice. 


The  First  Newspaper — Papers  at  Exira,  Audubon,  Gray,  Hamlin  and  Kim- 


First  Bank  in  Audubon  County — Banking  Institutions  at  Exira,  Audubon, 
Gray,   Brayton,   Kimballton  and   Hamlin   Station. 


The  Country  Church — Religious  Spirit  Among  the  Pioneers — First  Religious 
Work  in  Audubon  County — Establishment  of  Classes  and  Their  Develop- 
ment Into  Churches — The  Great  Sunday  Meetings — Congregational  Churches 
— Methodist  Episcopal  Churches — Presbyterian  Churches — United  Brethren 
— Evangelical  Association — Friedman's  Evangelical  Church — Christian 
Churches — Evangelical      Lutheran      Church      (German) — German      Lutheran 


Church — Danish  Lutheran  Church — Danish  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church — 
Seventh-day  Adventist  Churches — Baptist  Churches — Church  of  Christ,  Sci- 
entist— Catholic  Churches — Recapitulation   of  Church  Statistics. 


The  First  School  in  the  County — Location  of  Some  Early  County  Schools — 
First  County  Institute — County  Superintendents — Children  of  School  Age, 
1905 — School  Statistics  for  1914 — Present  Splendid  Condition  of  Schools — 
What  School  Houses  Should  Be. 


Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  and  the  Appendant  Orders — Independ- 
ent Order  of  Odd  Fellows — Knights  of  Pythias — Grand  Army  of  the 
Republic — Woman's  Relief  Corps — Sons  of  Veterans — The  Danish  Brother- 
hood in  America — Danish  Sisters'  Society  in  America — Modern  Woodmen 
of  America — Ancient  Order  of  United  Workmen — Knights  of  the  Macca- 
bees—  Brotherhood  of  American  Yeomen. 


Exira  —  Audubon  —  Brayton  —  Oakfield  —  Gray  —  Hamlin  —  Kimballton 
— Ross — Obsolete  Towns. 


First  Dane  Settler  in  Audubon  County — List  of  Early  Danish  Settlers,  with 
Places  and  Dates  of  Settlement — Desirable  Immigrants — Building  Elkhorn 
College — Towns   in   the   Danish   Neighborhood — Worthy   Citizens. 


Present  Postoffices — Obsolete  Postoffices — Census  Statistics,  1856 — Improved 
Lands — Occupations — Population  of  the  County  by  Years — Population  by 
Townships — Male  Population,  by  Years — Voters,  by  Years — Nativity  of 
Population — Natives  of  Iowa — Occupations,  1895 — Farm  Productions — Cen- 
sus, 1905. 



Acreage   crop   297,  302 

Agriculture    297,  302 

Ancient     Free     and     Accepted     Ma- 
sons     245,  250 

Ancient  Order  of  United  Workmen-  252 

Andrews.    Henry   F 39,  64,  78,  138, 

146,  149,  239,  259 

Animals,  Wild 40 

Arable   Lands    34 

Attorney-General 63 

Attorneys    173 

Auditors,  County 65 

Audubon — 

Banks     184.  274,  280 

Becomes   County  Seat 158 

Business  Interests,   Early 269 

Business  Interests,  1888 274 

Business   Interests,   Present 279 

Churches   194,   196,  209,  215 

219,  225,  230,  235 

County-seat    Fight   149.  150 

Court  House   270 

Description  of.  Early 267 

Father  of  Audubon 271 

Founding    of   150 

High   School   277 

Growth,    Early    267 

Homes 275 

Incorporation    273 

Laid    Out    267 

Lawyers   173.  269.  274,  279 

Lighting   System   274 

Lodges 245 

Newspapers    177 

Officers,  Early 273 

Officers,  Present 279 

Physicians 175,  269,  274,  280 

Population    298 

Postmasters  274 

Postoffice    296 

Audubon — Continued. 

Sale  of  Lots 267 

Schools 239,  240,  241,  275 

Sewer  System 275 

Values  in  1879 270 

Waterworks 274 

Audubon  Center 296 

Audubon  City 288 

Audubon  County  Riflemen 169 

Audubon    Heights   296 

Audubon  Township — 

Changes  in 53,  55,  57 

Churches 222 

Creation  of 52 

Drainage   34 

First  Settlers 81 

Original  township   52 

Population    298 

Roads,   Early 159 

Schools 240,  241 

Survey  of  135 

Timber 36 


Ballard,  Dr.  Samuel  M 62,  69,  70,  72, 

79,  100,  136 
Bank.  First  79,  184 

Banks   and    Banking 184 

Baptist     Churches    231 

Bar   of   Audubon    County 173 

Birth,    First    78 

Blacksmith,    First    79 

Boards  of  Supervisors 66 

Boundaries,  Changes  in 47 

Boundaries   of  County 46 

Bowen,  William  H.  H. 112 

Brayton — 

Bank 185 

Business  Interests 281 

Church 233 


Bray  ton — Continued. 

Incorporation    281 

Laid    Out    281 

Lawyers    174 

Lodges 249 

Mayors    281 

Named,  How 45 

Physicians 175 

Population    298 

Postoffice    296 

Schools 240,  281 

Brick  Building,  First  79 

Bridges    160 

Brotherhood  of  American  Yeomen__  253 


Cameron  Township — 

Churches    214,  215 

Creation  of 58 

Drainage   35 

First  Settlers 81 

Naming  of 45 

Population    298 

Schools 240.  241 

Survey  of 135 

Carpenter,  Reuben 111 

Catholic  Churches 234 

Census   Statistics   297 

Character,  A   Noted  113 

Christian   Churches : 219 

Church  Edifice,  First 79 

Church   of  Christ,  Scientist 234 

Church,  The  Country 186 

Churches 186 

Circuit  Court  Judges 63 

Civil  Point 296 

Civil    Townships    52 

Clerks  of  Court 64 

Congregational   Churches 192 

Congressional  Districts 49 

Congressmen 63 

Conkling 175,  296 

Constitutional  Convention  District..     52 

Contests  for  County  Seat 144 

Conveyances,  Early  Land 137 

Coroners 66 

County  Attorneys   64 

County  Auditors 65 

County  Institute,   First 239 

County  Judges  64 

County  Roads,   Early 159 

County-seat    .Aspirations 53 

County-seat    Campaign    Literature..  153 

County-seat    Commissioners 48 

County-seat  Contests 144 

County   Seat,    Locating  the 48 

County    Superintendents 240 

County   Surveyors  66 

Court,  First  Term  of 79 

Court   House   Election 158 

Court  House,  Proposed 259 

Creeks   ' 34 

Crops  297 


Danes,   the   290 

Danish    Brotherhood __..248,  253,255 

Danish    Sisters    Society 249,  253 

Daughters   of    Rebekah 249,254 

Dayton 144,  288 

Death,  First 60,    79 

Deer  Hunting 39 

District    Court   Judges 63 

Doctors   175 

Douglas  Township — 

Church 226 

Creation  of 57 

Danish   Settlers,    Early   293 

Drainage 35 

First  Settlers 81 

Hunters,   Early 41 

Population    298 

Schools    240,  241 

Survey    of    135 

Timber 36 

Draft,    Military   166 

Drainage,   Natural  34 


Early   Bridges 160 

Early   Improvements    58 

Eastern  Star,  Order  of 246,250 

Edgerton,    David    111 

Education   238 

Election,    First    County 48,    79 

Election    for   New    Court   House 158 

Elections 138 


Elkhorn   College,   Building  of 194 

Enlistments    for    Civil    War 164 

Enrollment  of  Pupils  in  Schools 241 

Entries  of  Government  Lands 136 

Evangelical    Association 21S 

Evangelical    Churches 218 

Exira — 

Additions 261 

Banks 184 

Bond  for  Court  House 147,  158 

Business  Directory  266 

Business   Men,    Early 257 


188.  192,  193,  219,  227,  230,  234 

Contest  Over  County  Seat 150 

County-seat    Aspirations 53 

County   Seat,    Chosen   as 145 

Court  House   Bond 147 

Court  Elouse,  Proposed 259 

Founding   of   53 

Growth,    Early    257 

Hall   Company    159 

High    School    Alumni 264 

Incorporation    261 

Industries,     Early    257 

Laid    Out    256 

Lawfyers 173,  259 

Location    256 

Lodges     J 250 

Made   the   County    Seatt • 145 

Municipal    Items    261 

Name  of 45 

Newspapers    : 179 

Notable    Citizens    265 

Officers,    Municipal    261 

Park   259 

Physicians    175,  260 

Population    298 

Postmasters   257 

Postoffice    296 

Professional    Men,    Early 257 

Residences    265 

Sale  of   Lots    256 

Schools  239.  240,  241,262 

Survey  of 256 

Exira  Township — 

Changes   in   53,   55.   57,    58 

Creation    of   52 

Drainage L 35 

First  Settlers 81 

Exira  Township — Continued. 

Hamlin   Settlement   88 

Hunters,   Early 42 

Indian   Sepulchre   40 

Mills  62 

Population    298 

Roads,   Early 159 

Schools 239,  240,241 

Survey   of 135 

Timber     36 

Exline    296 


Fair,    First    County 79 

Farm  Products 297,  302 

Fires,  Prairie 34 

First   County  Election 48,    79 

First   Death   60,    79 

First   Events   78 

First   Religious   Services 187 

First   Settlement 69,  78,    81 

Fiscus    296 

Fraternal   Societies   245 

Freeman,   Ethelbert   J 271 

Freemasons    245,  250 

Friedman's    Evangelical    Church 217 

Frost,    J.    Lyman 113 


Game,  Wild 40 

Gault,    Richard    114 

Geography   of   Audubon    County 33 

Government   Surveys   68.  135 

Grand  Army  of  the   Republic 247,  252 

Grasses,    Native    33 

Gray — 

Business   Interests,  Early 284 

Business   Interests,   Present 286 

Churches 205,  214 

Incorporation    286 

Lodges 254 

Mayors    286 

Named,    How    45 

Newspaper   179 

Officers    286 

Physicians    175 

Platting  of 284 

Population    298 


Gray — Continued. 

Postmasters  285 

Postoffice    296 

Schools 240,  241,285 

Settlers,    Early   284 

Greeley  Center 207 

Greeley   Township — 

Churches 207,  209.  2\»,  2U 

Creation    of   57 

Drainage 35 

First  Settlers 81 

Population    298 

Schools    240.  241 

Survey  of 1^5 

Grove 296 

Groves 35 


Hallock   Family   128 

Hamlin — 

Bank 185 

Business  Interests 286 

.Churches    206.  218.227 

County-seat  Contest 149 

Lodges 230 

Xamed,  How 4o 

Newspaper   179 

Physicians    175 

Population    298 

Postmasters 286 

Postoffice    296 

Hamlin  Family 82 

Hamlin   Grove 144,  239,296 

Hamlin    Script    91 

Hamlin  Township — 

Creation  of 57 

Danish    Settlers,    Early 291 

Drainage   3d 

First  Settlers 81 

■  Population    298 

Schools 239.  240.241 

Survey  of 135 

Timber 35 

Hamlin.-  William   P 92 

Hardships  of  Pioneers 98 

Harris.  Daniel  M. 

48,  53,  73,  79,  91,  118,  171,  238,  256,257 

Heath  Family HI 

Herrick,  Alvin 74,  115,  136.  160 

Herrick    Family   115 

Highways   159 

Homesteaders,    the    76 

Horace 296 

Hotel,   First   79 

Houston,  A.  B. 258 

Hunters,   Pioneer 41 


Illiterates  in  County 240 

Improvements,   Early 58 

Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows 

246,  249.  254 

Indian    Apollo    38 

Indian  Sepulchre  40 

Indians,  the  36 

Institute,    First    County 239 

Irwin    296 


Jenkins  Family__70,  78,  94,   136,   138,  145 
Jobes    296 

Judges  of  Circuit   Court 63 

Judges   of  District   Court 63 

Judicial    Districts   51 

Kimballton —     , 

Bank 185 

Business  Interests,  Early 287 

Business  Interests,  Present 287 

Church 227 

Founding  of 294 

Laid  Out 286 

Lodges    255 

Municipal  Items 287 

Newspapers   183 

Physicians    176 

Population 287,  298 

Postoffice    296 

Schools    241 

Knights    of    Pythias 247 

Knights   of  the    Maccabees :_  252 

Knights  Templar 245 


Land    Conveyances,    Early 137 

Land  Entries 136 


Land   Grants   76 

Land.  Improved 297 

Lands,  Arable 34 

Lands.  Railroad 76 

Larland   296 

Lawyer,   First   79 

La\v)-ers    173 

Legislators  64 

Leroy  Township — 

Changes  in 57 

Creation    of    56 

Drainage 35 

First    Settlers    81 

Xamed.    How   45 

Population    298 

Schools 240,  241 

Survey  of 135 

Timber    36 

Leroj-A-ille 297 

Lewis  Family 122 

Lincoln  Township — 

Church 223 

Creation   of   58 

Drainage 35 

First    Settlers    81 

Population    298 

Schools 240,  241 

Survey  of 135 

Live  Stock.   Pioneer 60 

Location  of  Audubon   County 33 

Lodges 245 

Log  Cabin.   First 78 

Louisville   53.  62.   288.  296 

Lutheran  Churches 225 


Mail  Routes.  Early 162 

Marriage,  First 79 

Marriages.   Early 79 

Masonic   Order   245.  250 

Medical  Profession 175 

Meek.   Rev.   Richard    C 74.  126 

Melville 297 

Melville  Center 207.  215 

Melville  Township — 

Churches 207 

Creation  of 58 

Drainage 35 

First    Settlers    81 

Melville  Township — Continued. 

Xamed,    How    45 

Population    298 

Schools : 240,  241 

Sursej-  of 135 

Methodist    Episcopal    Churches 193 

Military   History   164 

Militia   Organized   167 

Mills   60,  62,  79,  283 

Modern   National   Reserve 253 

Modern   Woodmen    of   America 

250,  251,  254 

Mormon   Trails   68,  159 

Muster    Rolls   168,  169 


Xame  of   County 46 

Xames  of  Rivers 44 

Xathaniel  Hamlin 53,  68,  69,  72,  73. 

78,  79,  84,  136,  138,  144,  160,  238 

Xatives  of  Iowa,   by  Counties 300 

Xativit}-   of   Population 299 

X'ewspaper,  First 79 

Xewspaper  Salutatorj- 150 

X'ewspapers    177 

X'ishna  Botna  Rivers 34 

Xoted  Character,  A 113 



Business    Interests,    Early 282 

Churches 193.  196.  233 

Founding   of   54 

Location   282 

Mills  283 

X'amed.   How 45.  282 

Ph^-sicians    175 

Platting  of 282 

Population    298 

Schools 239.  283 

Settlers.    Early   283 

Oakfield    Township — 

Changes  in 53.  55.  57.  58 

Churches    228.  231 

Creation  of 52 

Danish  Settlers,  Earh- 290 

Drainage   35 

First    Settlers    81 

Mills 62 


Oaklicld    Township— Continued. 

Population    29S 

Roads.   Karly 159 

Scliools   239.  240.  241 

Survey   of '•'^ 

Timber    36 

Obsolete    Tfiwns    28iH 

Occupations    298.  301 

Odd   Fellows.   246.   249,  254 

Official   Roster   ^^3 

Old   ITanilin.___45,  54,   145.   146,   147,  214 

Order  of  tiie  Eastern  Star 246,  250 

Organization   of  County 46 

Organization  of  Townships 54 

Orleans 297 


Petitions.   County-seat  145 

Physician,   First  79 

Physicians    ^^^ 

Pioneer  Conditions 58 

Pioneer    Hardships   98 

Pioneer   Hunters   41 

Pioneers   Now    Living 76 

Pioneers,    Sketches   of 82 

Political   History   138 

Political   Organizations   49 

Poplar   297 

Population,    by    Towns    298 

Population,   by  Townships 298 

Population,    by    Years 298 

Population,  Male,  by  Years 299 

Population,    Nativity    of 299 

Postmaster,    First    79 

Postof¥ices,    Obsolete    296 

Postoffices,    Present    296 

Prairie   Fires  34 

Presbyterian    Churches    209 

Press,  the 177 

Price 297 

Pupils  Enrolled  in  Schools 241 

Pythian  Sisters 251 


Railroad    Lands    76 

Railroads    162 

Recorders,  County 64,  65 

Religious   Societies   186 

Religious   Statistics 236 

Representative   Districts   50 

Keiiresentativcs  in   Congress 63 

Ivepresentatives  in  Legislature 64 

Revival  Meetings,  Great 189 

Rivers,  Names  of 44 

Kivers  of  Audubon  County 34 

Roads  161 

Ross   205,  217,  288,  296 

Roster   of   County   Officials 63 

Royal  Arch   Masons 245 

Saw-mill,   First  

Scenery  of  Audubon  County 

School   Age,    Children   of 

School  House,  First 

School   Houses  in   County 

School  Statistics,  1914 

School   Teacher,   First 

School,  the  First 

Schools,    Condition    of 

Schools,    County,    Location    of 

Schools   of  the   County 

Secret   Societies   

Senatorial  Districts 

Senators,  State  

Settlement  of  Audubon  County 

Settlers  Before   1861 

Settlers    Now    Living 

Seventh-day  Adventist  Churches-—- 
Sharon  Township — 

Churches    227, 

Creation    of    

Danish  Settlers,  Early 



Railroad    Tax    

Schools 240. 

Survey   of   


Shoemaker.  First 

Sketches  of  Pioneers 

Soil,   the  

Soldier    Relief   Commission 

Soldiers  in   Civil   War 

Sons    of   Veterans 

Spring  Valley  

Stage   Lines,   Early 

State  Roads  Established 


.     34 
.     66 
.  164 
.  248 
.  220 
.  162 
.  159 


State   Senators   64 

Statistics,   General   County 296 

Steam-mills,   First 79 

Store,   First   79 

Streams 34 

Stuart  Family 273 

Sunday    Meetings    189 

Superintendents    of   Schools 66,  240 

Supervisors,   Boards   of 66 

Surface  of  Audubon  County 33 

Surveyors,    County    66 

Surveys,    Government 68,  135 


Teachers  in   County 241 

Thompson    297 

Timber 35 

Towhead 45 

Tovi^n  Platted,  First 79 

Tow^nships    52 

Townships,  First  Settlers  in 81 

Trails,  Old 68 

Treasurers,    County  64,  65 

Trees    36 

Unimproved  Lands . 297 

United  Brethren  Churches 214 

United    Workmen    252 


Value   of  Farm   Products 302 

Viola  144,  145 

Viola  Center 175,  206,  297 

Viola   Township — 

Church 218 

Creation   of   57 

Drainage  34 

First  Settlers 81 

Named,    How    45 

Population    298 

Roads,  Early 160 

Schools 240,  241 

Surveys  of  135 

Voters,  by  Years 299 


Water    System    34 

Whitted,   Peoria   I.   113 

Wild  Animals 40 

Wild  Grasses 33 

Woman's   Relief   Corps 248 

"Woods    Rats"   145 



Agnew,    George    573 

Aikman,  Ambrose  F. 788 

Aikman,   Robert  F. 772 

Alt,  George  J. 589 

Alt,  William,  Jr. 679 

Anciaux,   Roy   454 

Andersen,  Jens  C. 628 

Andersen,   Nels  J. 582 

Andersen,  Nels  P. 695 

Andersen,  Peter 669 

Anderson,  Abram   R.  592 

Anderson,  Andrew  F 781 

Anderson,  Doc  B 709 

Anderson,  F.  L. 522 

Anderson,  J.  K. 674 

Anderson,  Peter  H. 850 

Andrews,  Hon.  Henry  F. 840 

Artist,   Daniel   590 


Bagley,    Charles   321 

Baker,  Edward  B. 568 

Baker,   J.    Henry   800 

Baker,   William    O.   564 

Ballman,   John    426 

Barten,  John  W 375 

Baylor,   Andrew  J.   759 

Beers,  Samuel 444 

Bisom,  Charles  L. 739 

Black,  Benjamin  J.  594 

Bladt,  Hans  A. 837 

Blake,  James 792 

Boehme,   Charles  816 

Bonnesen,  Hans  P. 653 

Bonwell,  John  C. 528 

Boyd,  Mahlon 638 

Brooks,  Alfred,  M.  D 336 

Burr,  August 518 

Buthweg,    Fred   A.   356 

Butterton,  John   581 


Caldwell,  Joseph  A. 378 

Callow,   William  J.  566 

Campbell,  George  A. 542 

Campbell,  James  A.  715 

Campbell,    Thomas   557 

Carlson,  James   M. 399 

Carter,   Perry  L.   718 

Channon,  James 827 

Childs.   Ratford  F.,   M.  D 871 

Christensen,  Chris 555 

Christensen,  Chris 819 

Christensen,  Christ 672 

Christensen,   H.   N. 358 

Christensen,    Lars   P.  450 

Christensen,    Matt   719 

Christensen,  Nels 498 

Christensen,    Thomas , 487 

Christiansen,   Chris  H. 812 

Christiansen,   Rev.   Gottleib   B 608 

Christiansen,  Rev.  Jens  P 400 

Christoffersen,   Lars  C. 480 

Clark,    Riley    P.    675 

Clark,    William    A.    435 

Clark,   William   L 561 

Clark,  William  M. 563 

Clausen,    Christen   T.    826 

Clemsen,  N.  P. 775 

Cotton,   Fred    H.   361 

Covault,  William  H. 491 

Crees,    Walkup    M.    476 

Culver,  Anson  S.  349 

Curtis,   Simeon   C.   360 


Darnold,  Benton  L. 397 

Daugard,   Soren   P.   690 


David,   Albert   511 

Davis,  Frank 625 

Davis,  William  D. 678 

Deletxke,  Rev.  Alfred  H. 801 

Dennis,  John  S.  407 

Dimick,  Calvin  I 685 

Dimick,  John   M. 405 

Doffing,  Bernard 861 

Donaldson,  John  K.,  D.  D.  S 337 

Dreier,  August   847 

Dryden,    Edward    472 

Duvall,  Frank  E. 512 

Duvall,  Horace  W. 640 


Eagen,   George 824 

Egan,  James  F.  803 

Engel,   George  J. 872 

Esbeck,  John   N.   697 

Essington,  Thomas  J.  603 

Everts,  George  C. 649 

F     . 

Faaborg,    John    530 

Faaborg,    Soren    S.   848 

Fabricius,   Hans   516 

Farquhar,  Arthur 332 

Feltner,   John   575 

Foley,  George  A. 645 

Forsbeck,  Andrew  G. 502 

Forsbeck,  Carl  D. 438 

Franklin,  Daniel,  M.  D. 326 

Frederick,  Albert 832 

Fredericksen,  Hans  C. 463 

Frick,    Edward   779 

Fry,  Robert  F. 588 


Garmire,   Samuel   F.   517 

Garnett,  Robert  H. 543 

Gebers,  Fred 756 

Gilro}^  Joseph   G.  682 

Goodwill,    James    790 

Graham,   J.   M.   380 

Grant,   C.  J.  627 

Green,   Hon.   William   R.   464 

Grinyer,   Rev.  Henry  P 551 

Groteluschen,  Louis 394 


Hahn,    Chris    474 

Hallock,  Isaac  P. 667 

Hammann,   Herman   753 

Hansen,  Christen 799 

Hansen,  Christoffer 440 

Hansen,  Hans 720 

Hansen,   Hans  J.  546 

Hansen,  Hans  P.,  Sr. 860 

Hansen,  Hans  P. 576 

Hansen,  Hans  R. 70S 

Hansen,  Henry 647 

Hansen,  Iver  P. 519 

Hanson,  Andrew  P. 658 

Harmon,  Arthur  C. 385 

Hartvigsen,  Jorgen 641 

Hartzell,  Worth  J.  773 

Harvey,  Alfred  W. 724 

Hays,  Frew 804 

Heckmann,  Chris,  Sr. 758 

Heiken,  John  R. 716 

Henriksen,   Chris  862 

Flensley,  John  I.  632 

Hepp,   Fred  C.  389 

Hight,   Harvey 501 

Higley,   George   N.   537 

Hill,  John  F. 855 

Hinricks,  E.  John 866 

Hoegh,  Niels  P. 736 

Hollenbeck,   Plenny  A. 580 

Hoogenakker,  Henry  J. 829 

Hoover,  George  W. 320 

Hoover,  Jerry  S. 569 

Horning,    Fred    H. 793 

Hoyman,  William  H. 411 

Humiston,  Jesse  A. 796 

Hunt,   Charley  O.   630 

Hunt,  James  354 

Hyen,   Jens    P.    414 


Jacobsen,   Jens   664 

Jacobsen,   Robert  A.,   M.  D 874 

Jacobson.  Hon.  Ole  H 784 

Jenkins,  Charles  W 869 

Jensen,  Anders ' 538 

Jensen,   Carl   M. 509 

Jensen,  Christ 657 


Jensen,  Rev.  Herman  L. 822 

Jensen,  J.   C.   585 

Jensen,  James  W. 733 

Jensen,  Jorgen  H. 636 

Jensen,  Nels  C. 691 

Jeppesen,  Anders 851 

Jessen,   George,  Jr. 696 

Jessen,   Peter   M.  711 

Johannsen,   Ludwig  H.   586 

Johnson,  Charles  392 

Johnson,  Charles  L. 382 

Johnson,  Edwin  F. 617 

Johnson,  Lemuel  C. 505 

Johnson,   Samuel  R. 853 

Jorgensen,  Albert  H. 813 

Jorgensen,  George  L. 810 

Jorgensen,    Hans   504 

Jorgensen,  J.  L. 831 

Jorgensen,  Jorgen 836 

Jurgens,    Charles    468 


Kester,  T.  C. 767 

Kienast,  August 660 

Kitson,  Arthur  544 

Kline,   Fred   744 

Knudsen,   Christ  J.  613 

Knudsen,   Marius  761 

Knudsen,  Peter 701 

Knutsen,  Chris  735 

Kreamer,  Frank 319 

Kuhn,   Jacob   328 

Kyhnn,  George 507 


Lancelot,   William  J.   823 

Lange,  Peter 445 

Lantz,   Roy  A.  548 

Larsen,  Dan  E. 485 

Larsen,  Jens 572 

Larsen,  Kristen 506 

Larsen,  Lars  P. 655 

Lauridsen,  Peter  N. 494 

Lauritsen,  Chris  P. 858 

Lauritzen,    H.    P 838 

Layland,    William    340 

Leandrd,  Val 867 

Leffler,   Bird  556 

Liken,  John  F. 422 

Lohner,  J.  B.  J. 712 

Loveland,  Russell  J. 339 


McGaffin,  Samuel 870 

McLaughlin,    Frank   R. 768 

McLeran,  William  P. 604 

McMahon,    Patrick   455 

McMichael,  Thomas 523 

McMurphy,  Abraham   L. ' 859 


Madsen,    Hans    420 

Madsen,    Peter    477 

Madsen,   Soren   325 

Mantz,  Halleck  J 308 

Marcusen,   Christian  535 

Marcusen,   Jorgen   808 

Mardesen,   Martin   P. 539 

Marquesen,  Evans 334 

Martin,  John  W. '694 

Mason,  Thomas  E. 331 

Masterson,  Melvin  L 430 

Mathisen,   Peter 402 

May,  Franklin  L. 437 

May,    George  A.,   M.   D 419 

Mayer,  Rev.  John 704 

Mease,   Ol.  510 

Mendenhall,  Hiram 342 

Meurer,  Anthony 661 

Meyer,  George  J. 749 

Miller,  Alfred 865 

Miller,    Conrad   577 

Miller,  Frank  L. 726 

Miller,  Jacob  F. 583 

Miller,  Ludwig  F. 404 

Miller,  Oscar 778 

Miller,    William    470 

Minerman,   Henry   656 

Moller,  Christian  C. 729 

Moore,  John   600 

Mortensen,    Hans    732 

Mortensen,  Martin  E. 391 

Mortensen,    Nels    482 

Mullenger,  Robert  W. 496 

Musson,  John  A. 370 

Musson,  Thomas  F, 466 



Xash.  John  A. 312 

Nelson,  Hans 623 

Xelsen,  Tver 597 

Nelson,  Anton 479 

Nelson,  Gilbert  P. 683 

Nelson,  Hans  A. 693 

Nelson,  John 635 

Nelson,   L.   Peter 721 

Nelson,  Soren  R. 570 

Nielsen,   Hans  J.   500 

Nielsen,   Marinus 612 

Niklason.    Frank    O 384 

Nissen,  John  752 

Nissen,   Peter   R.   446 

Northup,   George   C. 521 

Northup,  Harry  A. 323 

Northup,  Jasper 434 

Northup,    William    365 

Nymand,   Hans 699 

Nj'mand,  Jesse   740 


Oldaker,  Leroy  J.,  D.  D.  S 387 

Olsen,  Chris 327 

Olsen,   Wilhelm   C.   484 

Onken,  Henry 700 

Onken,   William  700 

Onken.  William   G 741 

Owen,  William  371 

Owen,   William  S.  567 


Pardee,  Charles  A. 743 

Parkinson,   George  J. 620 

Patty,  Theodore 448 

Paul,  Herman 619 

Paulsen,   Henrick  P. 601 

Pedersen,   Soren  C. 410 

Perrine.    W.   W.   558 

Petersen,    Anton    750 

Petersen,  Chris 689 

Petersen,  Chris  C. 687 

Petersen,    Hans    P.    432 

Petersen,  Henry  C. 493 

Petersen,  Lauritz 663 

Petersen,  Nels  P. 864 

Petersen,    P.    C.    417 

Peterson,  Peter  F. 764 

Phelps,  Ren  425 

Porch,  Elmer  C. 708 

Potter,  Eugene 541 

Preston,    George    W.   427 


Quinby,  John  J. 776 


Rabe,   Henry  598 

Rasmussen,    Hans    P.   665 

Rasmussen,   Rev.  Peter 616 

Rasmussen,  Tony  M. 376 

Reimers,   Herman   D.   766 

Reynolds,  Fred 388 

Rice,  Edward  C. 396 

Rice,  Frank  M. 374 

Ridgley,  F.  W. 560 

Riley,  John,   M.  D. 526 

Roberts,  Alexander   H.   344 

Roberts,  William  S. 782 

Roed,    Chris    684 

Ross,  George  M. 547 

Rubel,    Peter   460 

Rucker,  William 452 

Rutherford,  Robert 441 


Sampson,   Daniel  D. 688 

Schmidt,  Nels  C.  N 666 

Schouboe,  Jens  P. 610 

Schrader,  August 643 

Schrader,  William 490 

Schreiber,   Henry 562 

Schroeder,  Jorgen  F. 373 

Scotland,   Walter  424 

Shaw,    William    364 

Shoesmith,   Howard   G. 587 

Shupe,   Albert   J.    606 

Siemsen,  John  E. 525 

Simonsen,    Erik    P.   821 

Smith,   Martin 362 

Soar,  David  E. 351 

Sorensen,  Kristine  M. 379 

Sorrensen,   Martin   611 

Spencer,  Robert  C. 352 

Starck,  Rev.  Ernest  J.  W. 652 


Stearns,   Ella   M.   315 

Steere,  Edmund  H. 818 

Stetzel,  Ira 815 

Stone,  Abel   S.   738 

Strahl,  James  C. 552 

Stuedeman,    Ernest   857 

Sunberg,   Charles 317 

Sunberg,    Fred    565 

Sunberg,  Henry   367 

Swinehart,  Joel    L.   615 


Thomas,  Maturon  D. 771 

Thomsen,  Frank  D. 429 

Thomsen,  Thomas  B. 650 

Thygesen,   Ted   S 670 

Tibben,   Henry  W.  763 

Tibben,  John  C. 747 

Tibben,  William  C. 769 

Topp,  Andrew  P. 807 

Torpy,  Henry 706 

Tramp,   Louis  E. 531 

Tunmann,  Charles 413 

Turner,   Nathaniel   805 

Turner,  Roscoe  T. 702 

Turner,  Thomas  H. 553 

Twist,  John 549 


Ullerich,  Herman 723 

Vanaernam,  George  M. 


Van   Gorder,   Charles  305 

Van  Gorder,  Edwin  S. 383 

Voss,    Ernest    B.    852 


Wahlert,    Fred,   Sr.   746 

Wahlert,   Fred  J.,  Jr.  495 

Wahlert,    George,  Jr.  795 

Wahlert,  Jacob  F. 416 

Wahlert,    John    514 

Wahlert,    Jurgen    633 

Weaver,  Samuel  G. 461 

Wedemeyer,  Herman  C. 755 

Welch,    Orrin    S.    728 

Weston,  Albert  W. 595 

Weston,  W.  W 624 

Wheeler,  Joseph  L. 676 

White,  James   G.  786 

Williamson,  Thomas 457 

Wilson,  Charles  R. 797 

Wilson,   Clark 488 

Wilson,  Eugene  C. 368 

Witthauer,  Otto 310 

Wolf,  Christian  J.  H. 834 

Wolf,  Welberg 875 

Wulf,  George  L. 671 

Wulf,  John  E. 680 

Yager,  William  C. 578 


Zierke,  August  357 




Audubon  county  is  situated  in  the  west  central  part  of  Iowa,  the  third 
county  east  from  the  Missouri  river,  about  fifty-four  miles  distant.  Lying 
almost  wholly  on  the  Missouri  slope,  its  east  boundary  approximates  nearly 
the  summit  of  the  watershed  dividing  the  Mississippi  and  Missouri  water 
systems.  It  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  Carroll,  on  the  east  by  Guthrie,  on  thcj 
south  by  Cass,  and  on  the  west  by  Shelby  counties.  Its  area  is  four  hundred 
and  forty-three  square  miles. 

The  general  surface  of  the  county  is  rolling,  open  prairies.  The  greater 
and  higher  lying  portions  of  its  lands  are  of  the  drift  formation  and  of  great 
fertility,  even  to  the  summit  of  the  divides;  the  lower  lying  lands  along  the 
river  bottoms  and  their  tributaries  are  alluvial  deposits  of  marvelous,  match- 
less richness,  often  from  five  to  ten  feet  in  depth.  The  county  is  nearly  free 
from  ponds  or  lakes.  Magnificent  stretches  of  landscapes  can  be  viewed 
from  the  high  divides  in  every  township  in  the  county.  It  is  rare  to  witness 
such  fine  prairie  scenery  as  abounds  in  Audubon  county. 


In  its  virgin  freshness  the  prairies  were  vast  billows  of  wild  grasses, 
waving  in  the  wind;  the  home  of  the  noble  elk  and  graceful  deer,  but  which 
later  became  the  pastures  of  numerous  herds  of  horses  and  cattle,  until  th^ 
native  grasses  were  upturned  by  the  plow  of  the  farmer  and  converted  into 
veritable  gardens.  The  wild  grasses  began  to  grow  about  April  and  reached, 
the  height  of  eighteen  inches  on  the  hillsides  and  often  six  feet  in  the  low- 
lands. Such  noble  natural  meadows  have  been  rarely  witnessed  on  earth. 
Many  a  man  remained  poor  at  that  period  for  want  of  stock  to  eat  up,  for. 
his  benefit,  the  wild,  rich  grasses. 



About  the  month  of  October  the  grasses  were  killed  by  the  frosts,  and  a 
little  later  the  ground  was  swept  by  prairie  hres,  leaving  the  face  of  the 
country  a  bare,  black,  lonesome  wilderness — a  transformation  from  the  beau- 
tiful to  an  unsightly,  desolate  waste.  One  who  has  not  witnessed  such 
sights  can  but  partially  realize  them.  Those  prairie  fires,  marching  and 
advancing  like  an  army  over  the  hills  and  hollows  in  the  night-time,  illum- 
inating the  sky  to  noonday  brightness,  were  truly  wild,  magnificent,  grand 
pictures,  never  to  be  recalled  or  forgotten.  Those  annual  fires,  destroying 
vegetation,  were  the  causes  which  prevented  the  growth  of  timber,  except  in 
favored  localities. 


The  soil  is  remarkably  free  from  stone  or  gravel.  There  is  no  coal  or 
building  stone  found  in  the  county.  Sand  is  occasionally  found.  There  is  an 
abundance  of  brick  clay.  The  rivers  and  streams  are  deeply  eroded  into  the 
fine,  black,  alluvial  soil  and  furnish  an  abundance  of  pure  water.  The  rolling 
surface  of  the  country  affords  the  best  of  natural  drainage. 

For  agricultural  purposes  the  soil  of  the  county  can  hardy  be  excelled. 
Its  fertility  is  wadely  and  favorably  known.  Except  what  is  occupied  by 
rivers,  streams  and  highways,  practically  all  the  land  in  the  county  is  adapted 
to  tillage  or  grazing.  It  would  be  difficult  to  find  a  country  in  the  world 
containing  a  higher  percentage  of  arable  lands.  Horses,  mules,  cattle,  hogs, 
sheep,  poultrv,  cereals,  grasses,  vegetables  and  fruits  usually  found  in  this 
latitude  are  produced  in  profusion  and  abundance. 


Approximately  the  northeast  half  of  Viola  township  is  drained  into 
Brushy  creek,  a  tributary  of  the  Raccoon  river  system,  which  flows  south- 
east. A  small  area  of  eastern  Viola  township  drains  into  the  South  'Coon 
river.  The  remainder  of  the  county  is  drained  by  the  Nishna  Botna  rivers 
and  their  tributaries,  which  flow  from  north  towards  the  southwest.  The 
East  Nishna  Botna  rises  in  Carroll  county  and  enters  Audubon  county  at 
section  3,  in  Cameron  township:  thence  southeast  into  Viola  township;  thence 
south  into  and  across  the  extreme  northwest  corner  of  Melville  township, 
into  Leroy  township;  thence  south  across  Leroy,  Hamlin  and  Exira  town- 
ships, leaving  the  county  near  the  line  between  Exira  and  Oakfield  townships ; 
traversing  the  county  its  entire  length  from  north  to  south.  Its  principal 
tributaries  are  the  East  branch,  which  rises  in  Melville  township  and  enters 


the  river  in  the  northwest  corner  of  the  township;  Blue  Grass  creeek,  which 
rises  in  Cameron  township,  and  flows  south  across  Leroy  township  and 
enters  the  Botna  on  the  west  side  in  section  15,  in  HamHn  township.  Another 
branch  rises  in  the  northwest  part  of  Hamhn  township,  flows  southeast  and 
enters  the  Botna  on  the  west  side  in  section  27,  same  township.  David's 
creek  rises  in  the  northeast  part  of  Melville  township,  flows  southwest  across 
Greeley  township,  and  enters  the  Botna  at  West  Exira.  Anderson  creek  rises 
in  the  northeast  part  of  Exira  township,  and  flows  west  into  David's  creek 
at  West  Exira.  Sifford  creek  rises  in  the  south  part  of  Hamlin  town- 
ship, flows  south  into  the  Botna  on  the  west  side,  in  section  17,  Exira  town- 
ship. Buck  creek  rises  in  the  north  part  of  Oakfield  township,  flows  south 
and  enters  the  Botna  on  the  west  side,  near  Lewis,  in  Cass  county.  Trouble- 
some creek  rises  in  the  southeast  part  of  Gree'fey  and  northeast  part  of  Audu- 
bon township,  and  flows  southwest  across  Audubon  and  Exira  townships 
and  enters  the  Botna  near  Atlantic,  Iowa.  Crooked  creek  rises  in  the  south- 
east part  of  A-udubon  township,  and  flows  southwest  into  Troublesome  creek, 
in  Cass  county.  Indian  creek  rises  in  the  southeast  part  of  Douglas  town-7 
ship,  flows  south  through  Sharon  township  into  Shelby  county;  thence  south 
into  Cass  county  and  enters  the  Botna  near  Elliot,  Iowa.  Little  Indian  creek 
rises  in  the  southwest  part  of  Hamlin  township  and  southeast  part  of  Sharon 
township,  and  flows  southwest  across  the  northwest  part  of  Oakfield  town- 
ship, and  enters  the  Main  Indian  creek  in  Shelby  county.  The  East  fork  of 
West  Botna  rises  in  Lincoln  township,  flows  south  across  the  northwest  part 
of  Douglas  township,  and  enters  ^Shelby  county  at  section  18,  Douglas 
township.  Lone  Willow  creek  rises  in  the  east  part  of  Douglas  township, 
flows  west  and  enters  the  East  fork  of  the  Botna  in  section  9,  of  same  town- 
ship. Another  tributary  of  the  East  fork  rises  in  the  southwest  part  of 
Lincoln  township,  and  flows  south,  reaching  the  river  in  section  18,  near 
where  it  leaves  the  county.  Still  another  tributary  of  the  East  fork  rises  in 
the  southwest  part  of  Douglas  town.ship,  and  flows  northwest  into  the 
principal  stream  in  section  18,  same  township.  Thus  the  three  tributaries 
which  form  the  East  fork  of  the  West  Botna  unite  near  together  in  section 
18,  in  Douglas  township. 


When  the  county  was  settled  it  contained  some  of  the  best  timber  in 
western  Iowa.  It  extended  from  the  county  line  on  the  south,  up  the  east 
side  of  the  Botna  river  north  to  the  north  line  of  section  14,  in  Hamlin 
township.      For  about  fifteen  miles,   it  was  an  unbroken   fringe   of   timber 

^6  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.      ' 

next  to  the  river,  enlarging  into  several  extensive  bodies  of  heavy,  fine  tim- 
ber. One  large  grove  on  the  Ballard  land  extended  from  the  county  line 
up  to  the  Mark  Heath  farm,  embracing  the  heavy  timber  in  sections  30  and 
31,  in  Exira  township,  and  in  sections  25  and  36,  in  Oakfield  township,  about 
eight  hundred  acres  of  timber  and  brush  land  in  all.  Another  extensive 
tract,  called  the  "Big  Grove,"  of  about  two  thousand  seven  hundred  acres, 
extended  from  the  town  of  Oakfield  north  to  the  Herrick  farm  and  from 
the  river  east  two  miles.  It  embraced  lands  in  sections  15,  16,  17,  20,  21, 
22,  28  and  29  in  Exira  township.  It  was  the  largest  and  finest  body  of 
timber  in  the  county.  There  were  other  smaller  groves  at  Gault's,  Milli- 
man's.  West  Exira,  at  the  Wilson  and  Dodge  places,  also  in  sections  27  and 
14,  in  Hamlin  township,  and  at  Barlow's  and  Luccock's  groves,  in  Leroy 
township.  Beginning  again  at  the  county  line,  the  timber  extended  in 
fringes  up  Troublesome  creek,  alternated  with  the  groves  of  Bowen,  Hamlin, 
Lewis,  Walker  and  Thomas,  nearly  to  the  north  line  of  Audubon  township, 
about  eight  miles.  There  was  a  small  grove  in  the  extreme  northeast  of  the 
county  and  another  in  section  18,  in  Douglas  township,  later  called  Donald- 
son's grove.  A  fringe  of  timber  extended  up  the  creek  from  the  latter- 
named  grove  to  section  9,  in  the  same  township. 

In  the  early  days  these  groves  contained  many  varieties  of  deciduous 
trees,  namely:  White  oak,  burr  oak,  black  oak,  black  walnut,  shellbark 
hickory,  white  hickory,  white  maple,  linn  or  basswood,  cottonwood,  white 
elm,  red  or  slippery  elm,  aspen  or  poplar,  wild  or  black  cherry,  hackberry, 
willow,  ironwood,  wild  crabapple,  wild  plum,  hawthorn,  black  haw,  occa- 
sionally a  buckeye,  with  wild  grape  and  gooseberry.  Majestic  specimens  of 
the  lordly  oak  and  towering  walnut  were  found  in  great  quantities,  as  well 
as  enormous  elms.  The  writer  remembers  to  have  seen  here  in  the  early 
days  an  oak  eight  feet  in  diamter  and  a  walnut  which  made  three  logs  each 
twenty  feet  in  length,  eighteen  inches  in  diameter  at  the  top  and  three  feet 

at  the  butt. 

There  is  now  growing  on  the  ancient  Nathaniel  Hamlin  estate  a  white 
elm  tree  eight  feet  in  diameter. 


As  early  as  1803  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians  possessed  the  greater  part 
of  Iowa.  Some  of  their  celebrated  chiefs  in  eastern  Iowa  were  Blackhawk, 
Pashapopo,  Keokuk,  Wapello,  Appanoose.  The  lowas,  who  inhabited  what 
is  now  Van  Buren  county,  on  the  DesMoines  river,  were  nearly  annihilated 


by  the  Sac  and  Fox  tribe.  The  Sioux,  of  Minnesota,  who  extended  down 
into  northern  Iowa,  were  a  fierce,  war-Hke  nation,  continually  at  war  with, 
the  Sac  and  Fox  tribe.  They  made  war  on  the  whites  at  Spirit  and  Okoboji 
lakes  as  late  as  1857,  and  it  was  necessary  to  call  out  troops  against  the 
Sioux  during  the  Civil  War.  The  Pottawattamies,  whose  principal  settle- 
ment was  at  Trader's  Point,  in  Mills  county,  went  there  soon  after  the  In- 
dian treaty  of  1833.  They  had  a  settlement  at  Indian  Town,  near  the  pres- 
ent town  of  Lewis,  in  Cass  county.  It  is  not  improbable  that  they  hunted 
and  trapped  in  this  vicinity,  but  they  had  moved  west  about  the  time  the 
Mormons  came,  in  1846.  A  remnant  of  the  Iowa  Indians  came  back  to 
Tama  county  in  1842.  They  were  called  Musc[uakies,  or  mixed  tribe, 
and  still  live  there. 

There  is  nothing  to  indicate  that  the  Indians  ever  made  permanent  homes 
in  this  county.  It  was  not  favorable  for  such  resort.  The  larger  rivers, 
where  fish  abounded,  were  better  adapted  for  permanent  abodes  of  the 
aborigines.  We  do  not  find  the  remains  of  an  Indian  town  here.  Fish 
never  abounded  here.  The  only  source  of  food  supply  sufficient  to  sustain 
a  large  body  of  people  permanently  was  elk,  deer,  and  perhaps  buffalo  at  an 
early  period;  small  game  could  not  be  procured  in  sufficient  quantity  to  sus- 
tain a  large  population.  The  burning  of  the  grass  and  herbage  annually  in 
the  fall  destroyed  most  of  the  food  supply  for  the  sustenance  of  wild  ani- 
mals during  the  winter,  and  probably  large  numbers  of  elk  and  deer  mi- 
grated during  those  periods  in  search  of  food  elsewhere.  A  limited  number 
only  could  subsist  in  the  timber  and  brush  lands.  The  migratory  birds 
did  not  winter  here.  But  in  summer  when  food  for  wild  animals  and 
birds  was  abundant,  this  must  have  been  the  Indian  hunter's  paradise,  and 
the  opportunity,  no  doubt,  was  improved.  Game  was  abundant  and  the 
Indians  ate  nearly  all  kinds  of  four-footed  animals,  as  well  as  birds,  for  food. 

The  Indians  continued  to  make  hunting  trips  here  annually  in  warm 
weather  as  late  as  the  year  1886.  They  were  Musquakies,  from  Tama 
county,  known  as  "Jo^i^^'^y  Green's  Tribe."  The  last  time  Green  himself 
was  seen  here  was  in  the  fall  of  1865,  when  he  was  very  old.  He  was  a 
brother  of  Shabbona,  who  lived  at  a  grove  of  that  name  in  DeKalb  county, 
Illinois.  Shabbona  served  with  the  Indian  allies  of  the  British  in  the  War 
of  18 1 2.  As  many  as  fifty  in  a  band,  bucks,  squaws  and  pappooses,  clad 
in  their  peculiar  array  of  shirts,  leggings,  blankets,  etc.,  with  numerous 
ponies  and  dogs,  came  to  hunt  and  trap  from  June  until  cold  weather. 
They  lived  in  "wickeups,"  a  frame  of  sapling  rods,  covered  with  mats  woven 
food,  and  were  a  nuisance  on  that  account.     They  were  excessively  fond 


of  "hoggy  meat,"  and  not  dainty  about  their  food,  if  not  too  far  decayed. 
They  hved  in  "wickiups,"  a  frame  of  saphng  rods,  covered  with  mats  woven 
from  flags  by  the  squaws.  The  walls  sloped  and  were  open  at  the  top  for 
the  escape  of  smoke  when  fires  were  kindled  near  the  center  within.  They 
were  cozy  and  comfortable,  but  not  always  clean.  Later  they  lived  in  canvas 
tents.  Some  of  the  Indians  were  drunkards,  but  not  worse  than  some  white 
people.  Many  of  them  gloried  in  horse-racing  and  were  not  inferior  to  the 
whites  in  that  kind  of  sport.  Their  favorite  camping  places  were  near  Wal- 
ker's place,  on  Troublesome  creek;  near  the  Burton  place,  on  the  Botna;  near 
the  mouth  of  David's  creek,  west  of  Exira;  north  of  Exira  in  sections  21  and 
2.J.  in  Hamlin  township  on  the  Botna ;  at  Blue  Grass  Grove,  where  the  county 
poorhouse  is  located;  at  Luccock's  Grove  ;  and  the  groves  on  \\^est  Botna, 
in  Douglas  township,  and  at  other  places. 

The  late  A.  B.  Houston,  of  Exira,  once  said  that  the  Indians  came  to 
his  place  about  1857,  and  were  making  free,  without  invitation,  with  his 
little  supply  of  corn,  and  broke  up  the  nests  of  Mrs.  Houston's  sitting  hens, 
seeking  food  for  themselves  and  ponies.  The  Indians  were  normally  hun- 
gry.    Houston  remonstrated  with  them  and  they  departed  grumblingly. 

In  1 87 1,  about  harvest  time,  the  Indians  made  a  camp  in  the  timber  on 
the  Botna  north  of  Exira,  in  Hamlin  township,  and  were  making  havoc  with 
the  deer.  Several  hunters,  among  them  John  Huntley,  John  Dodge,  Sant. 
Anderson,  William  Evans,  the  writer,  and  others,  armed  and  mounted,  went 
to  their  camp.  Huntley  acted  as  leader.  He  drew  the  profile  of  an  Indian 
with  charcoal  on  the  bark  of  a  tree;  then  pointing  to  the  picture  said:  "Him 
Indian!  Indian  kill  white  man's  buck!  White  man  skuddaho  (whip)  In- 
dian like  h — 1!  Puckachee  (go  away)  !"  He  then  drew  a  revolver  and  shot 
at  the  picture.  The  Indians  observed  him  closely  and  held  a  consultation 
among  themselves,  and  one  of  them,  pointing  towards  the  place  of  sunrise, 
said:  "Morning,  Indian  puckachee  way  off.''  They  kept  their  promise.  I 
have  since  thought  that  we  treated  the  poor  savages  worse  than  the  occa- 
sion required ;  but  it  was  an  aggravation  for  them  to  come  into  our  settle- 
ment and  kill  game  under  our  noses,  when  there  was  plenty  by  going  a  little 
farther  away. 


On  one  occasion,  about  that  period,  while  the  Indians  were  camped  at 
the  same  place,  several  of  our  young  gentlemen  took  their  lady  friends  and 
sweethearts  to  see  them  on  a  friendly  visit  one  evening.  There  was  an 
enormous  young  "buck"  in  the  band  named  Jo,  who  stood  six  and  a  half 


feet  in  height,  and  correspondingly  proportioned,  a  young  Apollo,  and  a  skill- 
ful hunter,  who  had  been  out  for  game  that  day  and  had  retired  to  rest 
for  the  night  when  the  party  arrived  at  camp.  He  was  stretched  out  on 
the  ground  near  the  wall  of  the  tent  at  repose,  enveloped  with  a  blanket, 
and  presented  an  inviting  prospect  for  a  seat.  Indians  do  not  use  chairs 
or  seats,  but  usually  squat  down  on  the  ground  or  on  mats  when  inside  their 
abodes.  One  of  the  young  ladies  present  on  that  occasion,  tired  of  standing, 
spied  the  "seat."  as  she  supposed,  and  proceeded  to  appropriate  and  sit 
on  it.  Jo,  good  naturedly,  stoically  submitted,  for  a  while,  but  finally  moved 
and  rolled  over,  which  startled  the  lady,  who  sprang  up  with  a  scream,  to 
receive  a  general  shout  of  laughter  at  her  expense,  in  which  Jo  heartily 
joined,  to  the  chagrin  of  the  victim  of  misplaced  confidence. 

About  that  period  I.  K.  Johnson  employed  the  writer  to  survey  his 
land  (in  section  36,  Lincoln  township),  which  he  was  unable  to  find,  and 
where  he  afterwards  settled.  It  was  late  in  the  fall  of  the  year  and,  while 
at  work,  I  observed  off  to  the  east  a  strange  performance  which  excited 
my  curiosity.  There  was  a  scarlet  object,  surmounted  by  a  black  spot, 
moving  along  the  ground  and  not  far  distant  were  two  deer  gazing  at  it, 
alternately  approaching  and  retreating  as  if  trying  to  discover  the  nature  of 
the  strange  sight.  I  soon  concluded  that  someone  was  trying  to  lure  the 
deer  within  gun-shot.  The  hunter  was  enveloped  with  a  red  blanket  with 
his  black  head  showing  above,  a  remarkable  sight.  I  had  known  the  trick 
to  succeed  with  antelope  decoyed  in  that  way,  but  never  before  or  since 
have  seen  it  succeed  with  deer.  But  it  worked  all  right  in  that  case.  The 
deer  got  into  range  and  the  hunter  shot  and  killed  one  of  them,  a  fine  doe, 
but  the  other  escaped.  It  was  before  the  days  of  repeating  rifles.  I  went 
over  to  the  scene,  when,  lo  and  behold,  the  successful  hunter  was  the  Indian, 
Jo,  who  greeted  me  in  a  friendly  manner.  He  prepared  the  deer  by  re- 
moving its  entrails  and  bound  its  feet  together,  swung  it  upon  his  back 
with  the  legs  across  his  breast,  and  started  for  camp  several  miles  away, 
which  we  also  reached  the  same  night,  it  being  located  in  a  small  grove 
where  Air.  Ellsberry  had  settled,  in  Douglas  township,  and  where  Johnson, 
and  myself  also  camped.  We  heard  the  bells  on  the  Indian  ponies  nearly  all 
night.  It  snowed  during  the  night,  but  we  had  improvised  a  shelter  from  a. 
wagon-cover  spread  over  a  pole  placed  in  the  fork  of  a  sapling  near  a  large 
tree  then  recently  blown  down.  Next  morning  I  went  to  the  Indian  camp 
and  got  some  venison  for  breakfast  free  of  cost.  When  I  arrived  there  the 
Indians  were  at  breakfast,  eating  from  a  large  pan  of  colored  beans  and 


corn,  cooked  with  deer  meat.     One  of  the  Indians  performed  a  ceremony- 
similar  to  saying  grace  before  eating. 

The  first  settlers  found  the  place  of  sepulcher  of  an  Indian  chief  named 
Pymosa,  soon  after  coming  here.  Possibly  he  was  known  to  history.  If  I 
ever  knew,  I  have  forgotten  his  tribe.  The  spot  was  in  the  timber  on  the 
land  of  Doctor  Ballard,  in  section  31,  Exira  township,  east  of  the  Ballard 
bridge.  The  body  was  found  in  a  sitting  position  on  the  ground,  decorated 
with  ear-rings,  beads,  trinkets,  etc.,  enclosed  with  slabs  of  wood  (puncheons), 
all  being  surrounded  with  a  conical  stack  of  saplings  and  logs  to  protect  the 
body  from  wild  animals.  He  had  been  dead  long  enough  for  the  flesh  to 
fall  from  the  bones.  His  skull  and  some  of  the  bones  and  decorations  were 
carried  away  by  the  whites  as  souvenirs.  His  name  is  preserved  in  the 
name  of  the  adjoining  township  of  Pymosa,  in  Cass  county,  a  fitting  re- 
buke to  the  settlers  of  Audubon  for  the  sacrilege  and  desecration  of  the 
red  chief's  sepulcher  and  remains. 


In  the  year  1870  the  bones  of  a  mastodon  were  found  in  the  bank  of  a 
small  stream  near  the  west  line  of  what  is  now  Lincoln  township.  The  writer 
obtained  a  portion  of  one  of  the  ribs,  nearly  five  feet  in  length,  and  a  section 
of  the  vertebra,  six  inches  in  diameter.  The  early  settlers  found  the  horns, 
skulls  and  bones  of  buffalo  here.  William  P.  Hamlin  killed  a  buffalo  on 
Buck  creek  soon  after  he  settled  there.  Bryant  Milliman  and  John  Crane, 
while  traveling  to  Council  Bluffs,  about  the  same  time,  saw  and  chased 
buffalo  a  short  distance  west  of  where  Atlantic  is  now  situated.  A  wild 
buffalo  was  killed  in  Dallas  county  in  the  year  1865.  It  is  well  known  that 
wild  buffalo  were  found  in  the  northwest  part  of  Iowa  as  late  as  1866. 

When  the  first  settlers  came,  there  were  bear,  panther,  lynx,  bobcat, 
otter,  beaver,  mink,  muskrat,  gray  wolf,  coyote,  elk,  deer,  fox  and  gray 
squirrel,  and,  occasionally,  a  white  squirrel,  chipmunk,  weasel,  gray  and 
striped  ground  squirrel,  pocket  gopher,  skunk,  rabbit,  sand  hill  crane,  heron, 
wild  turkey,  swan,  wild  goose,  brant,  several  varieties  of  duck,  prairie 
chicken,  quail,  curlew,  several  varieties  of  snipe,  plover,  eagle,  turkey  buz- 
zard, several  varieties  of  hawk,  robin,  meadow  lark,  blackbird,  crow,  wood- 
pecker, bluejay,  yellowhammer,  bluebird,  sparrow,  snowbird,  several 
varieties  of  owl,  oriole,  catbird,  bee  martin,  swallow,  martin,  chimneyswal- 
low,  wren,  bluebird.  There  were  some  small  scale  fish,  sucker,  chub,  dace, 
silverside,  sunfish ;  but  they  have  all  gone,  and  in  their  place  have  come  bull- 


head,  catfish  and  carp.  Snakes  were  quite  numerous,  among  them  being 
rattlesnake,  bullsnake,  blue  racer  and  gartersnake.  The  elk  and  deer 
abounded  and  settlers  took  them  in  large  numbers  for  food,  and  for  their 
skins,  until  the  severe  winter  of  1857,  after  which  they  were  not  so  plentiful. 
"Uncle"  John  Jenkins  once  said  that  he  counted  over  one  hundred  elk  in  a 
band  on  the  high  point  of  land  on  what  is  now  John  I.  Hensley's  farm,  west 
of  the  Botna,  near  West  Exira.  In  the  spring  of  1866  the  writer  visited  that 
spot  and  found  there  a  large  elk  skull,  with  a  noble  set  of  antlers  attached, 
nearly  six  feet  in  length,  partly  decayed  and  gnawed  by  wolves.  Elk  horns 
were  found  plentifully  here  at  that  time  on  the  prairie,  where  they  had  been 
killed  or  where  they  had  shed  them.  A  large  set  of  elk  antlers  would  weigh 
as  much  as  twenty-five  pounds,  and  it  is  a  fact  that  they  were  shed  annually 
about  February.  A  new  set  grew  each  year  during  the  summer.  They  were 
at  first  about  the  consistency  of  cheese  and  very  tender,  being  covered  with 
a  beautiful,  delicate  purple  membrane,  called  the  "velvet,"  which  material  it 
resembled.  The  deer  had  very  much  the  same  habit  about  the  shedding  and 
growth  of  horns. 

There  were  some  hunters  who  lived  in  what  is  now  known  as  David- 
son's Grove,  in  section  18,  Douglas  township,  who  killed  considerable  num- 
bers of  elk  and  deer  about  1867-8.  One  of  them  was  said  to  have  been  killed 
by  lightning  in  the  fall  or  early  winter  of  1867  in  the  west  part  of  what  is 
now  Lincoln  township,  several  miles  north  of  their  camp.  His  body  was 
covered  with  snow  and  found  the  next  spring,  with  his  rifle  near  him.  A 
thunderstorm  was  known  to  have  occurred  at  the  time  he  was  lost  and  from 
the  appearance  of  the  body  and  gun,  which  was  broken,  it  was  reported  that 
he  was  killed  by  lightning.  It  was  said  that  he  appeared  to  have  been  fol- 
lowing elk  tracks  when  killed.  There  were  also  rumors  that  he  met  death  by 
foul  means.     No  legal  proceedings  were  ever  taken  about  the  event. 

The  last  bands  of  elks  in  the  county  were  on  Indian  creek.  Blue  Grass 
and  West  Botna.  Lone  Willow  was  a  favorite  resort  for  them.  Thev  dis- 
appeared  about  1 870-1.  The  last  hunters  to  kill  elk  were  John  Huntley,  Edwin 
C.  Wadsworth,  Stephen  Bowdish  and  Frank  Harrington.  Possibly  Christ- 
opher C.  Luccock  and  the  Indians  may  have  killed  some  about  the  same  time. 
The  deer  gradually  disappeared,  though  a  few  have  been  seen  here  almost  to 
the  present  time;  possibly  there  may  be  a  few  yet.  In  1868  the  writer  took 
thirty  saddles  of  vension  from  Exira  to  Des  Moines.  The  tracks  of  three 
deer  were  seen  near  the  railroad  depot  at  Exira  in  1880.  The  writer  killed 
several  deer  here  before  1870.  Being  at  "Uncle"  John  Jenkins's  place  in  the 
fall  of   1865,  I  went  with  George  Jenkins  to  hunt  for  some  cattle.     In  a 


brush  patch  we  jumped  up  half  a  dozen  deer,  which  scampered  away.  I 
had  a  Colts'  revolver,  but  was  so  much  excited  at  my  first  sight  of  deer  that 
I  forgot  the  gun  entirely.  Returning  to  the  house,  I  related  the  experience  to 
Mr.  Jenkins,  who  consoled  me  by  remarking:  "Well,  sir,  it's  a  mighty 
pooty  sight  to  the  eye  of  a  hunter — but  you  had  the  'Buck  Ager;'  I've  had  it 
myself  before  now  and  had  to  bite  my  finger  till  it  hurt  like  the  very  devil  to 
steady  my  nerves."  I  thouglit  it  a  novel  method  of  quieting  nervousness,  but 
do  not  remember  ever  practicing  it.  The  theory  seemed  to  be  that  the  pain 
of  the  gnawed  finger  exceeded  the  nervousness  produced  at  the  presence  of 
the  game.  It  is  a  fact  that  old  hunters  sometimes  become  excited  at  the  near 
proximity  of  wild  game. 

William  Powell,  who  lived  where  Ad.  Seibert  now  resides  at  Exira, 
while  out  hunting  near  "Towhead"  (section  i,  Exira  township),  discovered 
some  bear,  but,  being  alone,  feared  to  attack  them.  He  came  home  and 
reported  his  find.  Alex  Kincaid,  who  lived  in  the  Big  Grove,  south  of  the 
Burton  place,  John  Jenkins,  John  Hoggard  and  Philip  Arthur  Decker  took 
some  dogs  and  went  in  pursuit.  They  found  the  bear  and  killed  them,  after 
the  old  bear  had  killed  one  of  the  dogs.  This  account  was  related  by  John  T. 
Jenkins,  of  the  hunters  mentioned.  A  large  bear  skull  was  found  many 
years  ago  in  a  small  stream  in  the  "big  grove"  on  section  21,  Exira  town- 
ship, which  is  now  in  the  museum  of  the  State  Historical  Society.  Howard 
J.  Green,  Folly  Herrick  and  others  have  told  about  killing  wild  turkey  here, 
saying  that  they  were  plentiful  in  early  days.  There  was  a  well-defined 
beaver-dam  a  mile  above  Exira,  on  the  Botna,  in  1866.  Perk  Smith  saw 
where  the  beaver  had  cut  down  trees  there  as  large  as  a  stove  pipe.  Swans, 
wild  geese,  brants,  ducks  and  sandhill  cranes  were  plentiful  in  the  spring  and 
fair  for  many  years.  Howard  J.  Green  and  Folly  Herrick  told  the  writer 
that  they  had  killed  wild  turkey  in  the  timber  where  Walter  B.  Temple  now 
lives.  Prairie  chickens  were  very  plentiful  until  after  the  railroad  came  in 
1878,  and  large  numbers  of  them  were  taken  by  sportsmen. 

The  following  letter,  written  from  Farrall,  Wyoming,  in  1909,  by  Mrs. 
Cymanthia  A.  Smith,  daughter  of  William  P.  Hamlin,  gives  a  fairly  good 
picture  of  the  early  times  here : 

"I  happened  to  see  one  of  the  Audubon  County  Journals,  telling  about 
the  early  settlement  of  Audubon  county.  You  say  you  have  never  seen 
any  one  that  claimed  to  have  seen  a  panther  there.  There  must  have  been 
several  there,  or  in  Cass  county.  My  father  and  a  man  named  John  Prat 
saw  one  as  they  were  going  across  the  prairie  from  our  place  on  Buck  creek. 
They  were  in  a  wagon  and  when  the  panther  saw  them  it  dropped  down  on  an 


ant-hill  and  witched  them  as  they  passed,  only  about  ten  steps  from  the  road. 
Father  said  he  could  have  shot  it  if  he  had  had  a  gun.  And,  as  for  bears, 
they  were  plenty,  at  least  on  Buck  creek.  We  lived  at  the  lower  grove,  two 
miles  below  Barney  Harris'  grove,  and  there  was  another  between  them, 
called  Middle  grove.  We  used  to  hear  the  bears  at  night  fighting  and  squall- 
ing in  the  Middle  grove.  Father  went  at  one  time  to  move  a  man  to 
Nebraska,  and  Martha  Johnston,  afterwards  Mrs.  William  Carpenter,  stayed 
with  our  family  while  father  was  gone.  One  night  during  his  absence,  we 
heard  something  walking  around  the  house  and  were  greatly  frightened. 
There  was  no  door  to  the  house,  only  a  quilt  hung  up,  with  chairs  set  against 
it  to  shut  the  entrance.  The  next  day  we  found  bear  tracks  around  the 
house,  which  proved  who  our  visitor  was.  It  made  no  attempt  to  enter  the 
house.  There  were  lots  of  wild  turkeys  in  the  Big  grove;  but  father  killed 
only  the  3^oung  ones,  which  were  nice  to  fry.  I  have  seen  my  father  chasing 
hundreds  of  elk  at  a  time,  which  came  near  our  house.  He  killed  nine  elk 
one  Christmas  and  brought  home  a  large  one  alive.  We  kept  it  until  the  next 
summer,  fattened  and  killed  it  to  eat.  There  was  a  crust  on  the  deep  snow 
which  enabled  father  to  kill  those  on  that  Christmas.  Something  funny 
happened  when  we  lived  on  the  Goodale  place.  One  night  the  hounds 
wakened  us  by  chasing  something  around  the  house.  Father  jumped  up  to 
see  what  it  was  and  just  as  he  got  out,  a  deer  ran  past  him,  which  he  caught 
by  the  horns.  He  called  to  mother  to  bring  the  butcher  knife,  and  with  it 
he  killed  the  deer.  One  time,  on  Buck  creek,  when  father  was  absent  from 
home,  five  wolves  came  close  to  the  house.  Our  dog  would  chase  them  a 
short  distance ;  then  the  wolves  would  turn  and  drive  him  back  faster  than 
he  had  driven  them  away.  When  the  dog  got  near  the  house  he  would  get 
brave  and  go  after  them  again.  Mother  and  us  children  watched  the  per- 
formance from  the  yard. 

"Father  and  Uncle  Natty  lived  near  each  other  on  Skunk  river,  in 
Mahaska  county.  Ben  and  Ike  Jenkins  helped  to  move  us  from  Mahaska  to 
Cass  county  with  an  ox  team  in  the  fall  of  1851.  I  was  only  three  years 
old,  but  remember  it  well.  There  was  but  one  house  on  the  hill  east  of  the 
river  at  Des  Moines,  and  I  think  only  three  houses  on  the  west  side. 

'T  remember  the  ferry  boat  Avas  so  old  and  rotten  mother  was  afraid  to 
go  on  it,  and  I  think  our  only  cow  thought  the  same  way,  for  she  jumped 
overboard  and  swam  ashore. 

"The  first  election  in  Cass  county  was  held  at  our  house  on  the  old 
Goodale  place.     We  moved  to  Exira  in  the  fall  of  i860  (from  Buck  creek). 

"Mrs.  W.  F.  Smith.'' 



The  Nishua  Botna  river  probably  received  its  name  lower  down  its 
course,  near  the  Missouri  river,  into  which  it  discharges.  It  is  mentioned 
in  the  diary  of  Lewis  and  Clark,  kept  on  their  expedition  from  St.  Louis 
to  the  Pacific  ocean,  as  follows:  "On  the  14th  (May,  1804)  elk  were  seen 
for  the  first  time.  Passed  the  Nishua  Botna  and  Little  Nemahaw  rivers, 
and  found  the  former  to  be  only  three  hundred  yards  from  the  Missouri  at 
the  distance  of  twelve  miles  from  its  mouth,"  indicating  previous  knowledge 
of  the  name.  The  writer  is  unable  to  recognize  to  what  language  it  be- 
longs; perhaps  it  is  an  Indian  word,  or  it  may  be  from  the  patois  of  the 
old  French  voyageurs,  who  traversed  the  Missouri  river  country  in  earlier 
times.  Doctor  Ballard  once  said  that  the  word  Nishua  Botna  signified  "To 
cross  in  a  boat." 

It  has  been  said  that  the  government  surveyors  gave  the  name  to 
Troublesome  creek.  While  surveying  the  land  through  which  it  flows, 
the  water  was  high  and  they  had  frequent  occasion  to  cross  it,  hence  the 
name.  It  should  be  remembered  that  the  streams  carried  more  water  in 
early  times  than  at  present. 

Crooked  creek,  a  tributary  of  Troublesome,  undoubtedly  received  its 
name  from  the  form  of  its  channel. 

Unexpected  creek  (or  Pleasant  run),  in  section  35,  near  Hamlin's,  was 
named  by  the  surveyors,  who  came  upon  it  unexpectedly,  and  so  gave  it 
that  name. 

Sifford  creek  was  named  for  John  Seifford,  whosettled  on  its  bank  near 
where  T.  J.  Essington  lived. 

The  name  of  Buck  creek  was  suggested  from  the  large  number  of  deer 
found  there  in  early  times,  according  to  the  account  of  Doctor  Ballard. 

David's  creek  was  named  for  David  Edgerton. 

Anderson  creek,  at  Exira,  was  named  for  David  Anderson. 

Four-mile  creek  was  so  called  because  it  was  four  miles  from  Exira. 

William-  Brice,  who  lived  in  section  31,  Greeley  township,  bestowed  the 
name  Honey  creek  upon  the  little  stream  there  where  he  resided. 

The  early  settlers  discovered  a  patch  of  blue  grass  in  the  little  grove  on 
the  present  poorfarm  in  this  county.  It  was  supposed  the  seed  was  scat- 
tered there  by  Mormons  in  their  journey  westward.  The  place  was  called 
Blue  Grass  grove  and  the  creek  near  it  received  the  same  name. 


East  branch,  in  Melville  township,  received  its  name  in  early  times  from 
its  direction  from  the  principal  river  of  which  it  was  a  tributary. 

West  Botna,  in  Lincoln  and  Douglas  townships,  takes  its  name  from  the 
principal  river. 

Indian  creek  and  Little  Indian  probably  received  the  name  lower  down 
on  the  stream.  There  was  an  old  town  on  the  stream  near  the  town  of 
Lewis,  called  Indian  Town. 

The  name  of  Lone  Willow,  in  Douglas  township,  suggests  its  origin. 

Exira  was  named  for  Miss  Exira  Eckman.  Her  father,  Judge  John 
Eckman,  from  Ohio,  was  here  visiting  his  relatives,  the  Cranes,  at  the  time 
the  town  was  laid  out  and  platted.  Mr.  Edgerton,  the  proprietor,  had  in- 
tended to  name  the  town  Viola,  for  his  daughter.  Mr.  Eckman  proposed  if 
Edgerton  would  name  the  town  Exira,  for  his  daughter,  he  would  buy  a 
town  lot,  which  was  agreed  to. 

Viola  township  was  named  for  the  daughter  of  Arthur  L.  Sanborn,  who 
was  a  member  of  the  board  of  supervisors  when  the  township  was  organized. 

Melville  township  was  named  for  James  Melville  Graham,  the  lawyer 
at  Audubon,  a  son  of  Samuel  A.  Graham,  who  was  a  member  of  the  board 
of  supervisors  when  the  township  was  organized. 

Leroy  township  was  named  for  Leroy  Freeman,  a  Union  soldier,  killed 
in  the  Civil  War,  and  brother  of  our  well-known  citizen,  Ethelbert  J.  Free- 
man, who  was  an  early  and  prominent  settler  in  that  township.  Leroyville 
postoffice,  now  obsolete,  was  named  after  the  same  manner. 

Hamlin  Grove  postoffice,  now  obsolete;  the  old  town  of  Hamlin,  also 
obsolete;  Hamlin  township  and  Hamlin  Station  were  all  named  in  honor  of 
the  first  settler,  Nathaniel  Hamlin. 

Cameron  township  was  named  in  honor  of  the  Cameron  family,  sev- 
eral members  of  which  were  early  settlers  in  Viola  and  Cameron  townships. 

Brayton  was  named  for  the  civil  engineer  who  worked  on  the  rail- 
road during  its  construction,  1878-79. 

Oakfield  was  named  by  Flam  W.  Pearl,  a  resident  there,  after  a  place  of 
the  same  name  in  New  York  state. 

Gray  was  named  for  its  proprietor,  George  Gray. 

Towhead  was  the  name  of  the  high  point  of  land  three  miles  east  of 
Exira.  Years  ago  there  were  two  oak  trees  there,  which  served  as  a  land- 
mark for  miles  around  in  most  directions.  The  trees  have  long  since  van- 
ished and  the  name  is  nearly  obsolete. 



Auclnbon  county  was  undoubtedly  named  in  honor  of  the  celebrated 
ornithologist,  John  James  Audubon,  who  died  in  the  year  1851. 

At  the  time  of  its  organization  by  the  state  Legislature,  it  formed  part 
of  Keokuk  county,  which  eml)raced  at  one  period  the  southern  portion  of 

Audubon  county  was  organized  by  provision  of  section  18,  chapter  9, 
acts  of  the  third  General  Assembly  of  Iowa,  a])proved  January  15,  1851, 
which  provided :  "That  the  following  shall  be  the  boundaries  of  a  new 
county,  which  shall  be  called  Audubon,  to-wit :  Beginning  at  the  northwest 
corner  of  township  81  north,  range  32  west;  thence  west  on  the  line  between 
townships  81  and  82.  to  the  northwest  corner  of  township  81,  range  36  west; 
thence  south  on  range  line  dividing  ranges  36  and  t^j  to  the  southwest  corner 
of  township  78'  north,  range  36;  thence  east  on  the  line  between  townships 
77  and  78  to  the  southwest  corner  of  township  78,  range  32  west;  thence 
north  between  ranges  t^2  and  T^;i^,  to  the  place  of  beginning." 

This  boundary  was  changed  a  few  days  later  by  subsequent  act  of  the 
Legislature,  namely,  chapter  81,  acts  of  the  third  General  Assembly, 
approved  February  5,  1851,  which  provided:  "That  the  following  shall  be 
the  boundaries  of  the  county  of  Guthrie,  to-wit :  Beginning  at  the  north- 
west corner  of  township  81  north,  of  jcange  29  west;  thence  west  on  the 
township  lines  dividing  townships  81  and  82,  to  the  northwest  corner  of 
township  81  north,  range  33  west;  thence  south  to  the  southwest  corner  of 
township  78,  range  33  west ;  thence  east  on  the  township  lines  between  town- 
ships yy  and  78.  to  the  southwest  corner  of  township  78,  range  29  west; 
thence  north  to  tb.e  ])lace  of  beginning." 

The  cause  of  this  change  was  remote.  To  adjust  the  boundaries  of 
Polk  county  in  such  manner  as  to  make  Des  Moines  nearer  the  center  of  the 
county,  a  tier  of  townships  was  severed  from  the  east  of  Polk  and  attached 
to  Jasper  county.  To  compensate  for  the  change,  a  tier  of  townships  was 
taken  from  the  east  of  Dallas  and  attached  to  Polk  county.  Then  a  tier  of 
townships  was  taken  from  the  east  of  Guthrie  and  attached  to  Dallas  county, 


and  a  tier  of  townships  was  taken  from  the  east  of  Audubon  and  attached  to 
Guthrie  county. 

There  was  no  one  hving  in  Audubon  county  at  that  time,  and  its  inter- 
ests were  unprotected.  The  readjustment  should  have  continued  by  adding 
a  tier  of  townships  to  the  west  of  Audubon  taken  from  the  east  of  Shelby 
county,  and  Shelby  should  then  have  received  a  like  territory  from  the  east 
of  Harrison  county,  which  would  have  fairly  equalized  the  counties. 

The  time  for  correcting  the  injustice  to  Audubon  county  has  long  passed. 
To  disturb  the  county  boundaries,  now  that  permanent  county  seats  have 
been  located  and  public  records  of  long  standing  have  been  established,  would 
work  irreparable  injury  and  damage  to  the  people  now  residing  where  such 
changes  could  and  should  have  been  made  many  years  ago.  We  have  since 
lived  to  experience  the  many  permanent  disadvantages  resulting  from  that 
act  of  injustice.  The  relative  expenses  of  county  government  must  always 
remain  greater  in  a  small  than  in  a  larger  county.  In  political  affairs,  in  the 
distribution  of  state  and  district  ofilcers,  the  rights  of  a  small  county  have 
frequently  been  disregarded  and  denied.  The  people  of  Audubon  county 
have  repeatedly  experienced  such  prejudice  and  injustice  and  will  probably 
continue  to  do  so. 

Doctor  Ballard  and  Peoria  I.  Whitted  took  an  active  part  in  procuring 
the  organization  of  the  county.  At  one  time  Mr.  Whitted  made  a  trip  for  that 
purpose  to  Iowa  City  and  return,  on  foot.  The  expenses  were  paid  prin- 
cipally by  Doctor  Ballard. 

It  was  provided  by  section  lo,  chapter  8,  acts  of  the  fourth  General 
Assembly  of  Iowa,  approved  January  12,  1853.  "That  the  county  of  Cass 
shall  be  composed  of  three  civil  townships  for  the  present  organization,  that 
is :  all  the  territory  embraced  in  Cass  county  shall  constitute  one  civil  town- 
ship; that  which  lies  in  the  county  of  Audubon  shall  constitute  one  civil 
township;  and  all  that  which  lies  in  the  county  of  Adair  shall  constitute  one 
civil  township;  the  three  for  revenue,  election  and  judicial  purposes  consti- 
tuting the  county  of  Cass.  The  first  election  to  be  held  at  Boshaw's  [Brad- 
shaw's]  store,  in  Cass  county,  at  Mr.  Hamlin's  in  Audubon  township,  at 
the  house  of  /Vlfred  Jones  in  Adair  township."  It  does  not  appear  that  any 
election  was  held  in  Audubon  county  under  this  law. 

It  was  further  provided  by  section  2,  chapter  12,  acts  of  the  fourth 
General  Assembly,  approved  January  12,  1853:  "Whenever  the  citizens  of 
any  unorganized  county  desire  to  have  the  same  organized,  they  may  make 
application  by  petition  in  writing,  signed  by  a  majority  of  the  legal  voters  of 
said  county,  to  the  county  judge  of  the  county  to  which  such  unorganized 


county  is  attached;  whereupon  such  county  judge  shall  order  an  election  for 
county  officers  in  such  unorganized  county.  Notice  of  said  election  must  be 
given,  the  election  conducted  and  the  returns  thereof  made  to  the  organized 
county  to  which  the  same  was  attached,  and  canvassed  in  the  manner  pro- 
vided by  law  for  filling  vacancies  in  county  offices." 

We  suppose  the  county  was  organized  under  this  statute.  Peoria  I. 
Whitted  bore  the  petition  from  the  people  of  this  county  to  the  county  judge 
of  Cass  county  at  Lewis,  praying  for  an  order  for  the  organization  of  the 
county,  and  for  the  first  election  of  county  officers,  as  is  supposed,  in  the 
early  part  of  the  year  1855.  No  record  of  the  transaction  is  to  be  found 
at  this  time  in  this  or  in  Cass  county.  It  is  traditional  that  the  proper  order 
was  made  by  Mr.  Benedict,  county  judge  of  Cass  county.  The  first  election 
was  held  at  the  house  of  John  S.  Jenkins,  in  section  29,  Exira  township, 
April  2,  1855.  John  S.  Jenkins,  Walter  J.  Jardine  and  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis 
were  judges  of  election,  and  John  W.  Beers  and  Carlos  E.  Frost  were  clerks. 
The  first  officers  elected  were:  Thomas  S.  Lewis,  county  judge;  John  W. 
Beers,  clerk  of  court;  Miles  Beers,  treasurer  and  recorder;  David  L.  Ander- 
son, prosecuting  attorney;  Benjamin  M.  Hyatt,  sheriff;  Robert  Stansberry, 
coroner;  John  W.  Beers,  sun-eyor;  Urbane  Herrick  and  Carlos  E.  Frost, 
justices  of  peace;  William  H.  H.  Bowen,  assessor  ?.nd  road  supervisor. 

In  May,  1855,  Hon.  E.  H.  Sears,  judge  of  the  district  court  of  Cass 
county,  appointed  T.  N.  Johnson,  of  Adair  county;  T.  Biyan,  of  Guthrie 
county,  and  C.  E.  Woodward,  of  Cass  county,  commissioners  to  locate  the 
county  seat  of  Audubon  county.  The  last  two  named  members  qualified  as 
such,  and  reported  on  June  20,  1855,  that  they  had  located  the  county  seat 
on  the  east  half  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  22,  in  township  78, 
range  35.  This  land  was  then  owned  by  Rev.  Richard  C.  Meek,  who  con- 
veyed it  to  Audubon  county,  retaining  a  share  of  the  lots  to  be  laid  out. 
Under  provisions  of  the  statute,  it  was  laid  out  and  platted  for  the  county 
by  Thomas  S.  Lewis,  county  judge,  as  the  town  of  Dayton,  July  9,  1855. 
It  became  the  county  seat  only  in  name;  but  two  houses  were  ever  built 
there,  those  of  Norman  Archer  and  Rev.  Mr.  Baker.  The  public  records 
were  kept  and  business  transacted  at  the  places  of  residence  of  the  officers 
until  the  removal  of  the  county  seat  to  Exira  in  1861.  The  town  of  Dayton 
received  some  notoriety  abroad,  and  quite  a  trade  of  its  town  lots  was  car- 
ried on  in  other  states,  until  its  true  character  became  known. 

At  the  general  election  in  August,  1855,  the  following  named  county 
officers  were  elected:     Daniel  M.  Harris,  county  judge;  Nathaniel  Hamlin, 

M  /\  P-  O  F 

CA  fi  f^OLL  <^0. 


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treasurer  and  recorder;  Benjamin  Hyatt,   sheriff;   Peoria  I.   Whitted,   sur- 
veyor.    Peoria  I.  Whitted  was  appointed  swamp  land  commissioner. 


Since  the  organization  of  Audubon  county,  the  districts  of  which  it 
has  formed  parts  for  election  and  governmental  purposes,  have  been  vari- 
ously formed  and  frequently  changed.  In  1862  the  fifth  congressional  dis- 
trict embraced  the  counties  of  Adair,  Adams,  Audubon,  Cass,  Clarke,  Deca- 
tur, Dallas,  Fremont,  Guthrie,  Harrison,  Lucas,  Madison,  Mills,  Montgom- 
ery, Page,  Polk,  Pottawattamie,  Ringgold,  Shelby,  Taylor,  Union,  Warren 
and  Wayne. 

In  1872  the  eighth  congressional  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Adams,  Audubon,  Cass,  Fremont,  Harrison,  Mills,  Montgomery,  Page,  Pot- 
tawattamie, Ringgold,  Shelby,  Taylor  and  Union. 

In  1882  the  ninth  congressional  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Audu- 
bon, Cass,  Crawford,  Fremont,  Harrison,  Alills,  Montgomery,  Pottawat- 
tamie and  Shelby.  Since  1886  it  has  embraced  the  counties  of  Adair,  Audu- 
bon, Cass,  Harrison,  Mills,  Montgomery,  Pottawattamie  and  Shelby. 

Since  1886  it  has  embraced  the  counties  of  Adair,  Audubon,  Cass,  Har- 
rison, Mills,  Montgomery,  Pottawattamie  and  Shelby. 


In  1855,  the  twelfth  senatorial  district  in  the  Legislature  embraced  the 
counties  of  Audubon,  Buena  Vista,  Buncombe  (now  Lyons),  Carroll,  Cal- 
houn, Cherokee,  Clay,  Crawford,  Dickinson,  Emmet,  Harrison,  Ida,  Mon- 
ona, O'Brien,  Osceola,  Palo  Alto,  Plymouth,  Pocahontas,  Pottawattamie, 
Sac,  Shelby,  Sioux  and  Woodbury.  In  1858  it  remained  unchanged.  In 
i860,  the  thirty-first  senatorial  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Audubon, 
Cass,  Guthrie,  Harrison,  Pottawattamie  and  Shelby.  In  1862  the  thirty- 
first  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Adair,  Audubon,  Cass,  Dallas,  Guthrie 
and  Shelby. 

In  1864  the  forty-third  senatorial  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Audubon,  Buena  Vista,  Buncombe  (now  Lyons),  Carroll,  Calhoun,  Chero- 
kee, Clay,  Crawford,  Dickinson,  Emmet,  Hancock,  Harrison,  Humboldt,  Ida, 
Kossuth,  Monona,  O'Brien,  Osceola,  Palo  Alto,  Plymouth,  Pocahontas,  Sac, 
Shelbv,  Sioux,  Webster,  Winnebago,  Woodbury  and  Wright. 

"  (4) 


In  1866  the  forty-fifth  senatorial  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Audubon,  Carroll,  Cherokee,  Crawford,  Greene,  Harrison,  Ida,  Lyon,  Mon- 
ona, O'Brien,  Osceola,  Plymouth,  Shelby,  Sioux  and  Woodbury. 

In  1868  the  forty-sixth  senatorial  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Audubon,  Carroll,  Cherokee,  Crawford,  Harrison,  Ida,  Lyon,  Monona, 
O'Brien,  Osceola,  Plymouth,  Shelby,  Sioux  and  Woodbury. 

In  1870  the  forty-eighth  senatorial  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Audubon,  Cherokee,  Crawford,  Harrison,  Ida,  Lyons,  Monona,  O'Brien, 
Osceola,  Plymouth,  Shelby,  Sioux  and  Woodbury. 

In  1872  the  forty-ninth  senatorial  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Audubon,  Carroll,  Dallas,  Green  and  Guthrie.  In  1874  the  forty-ninth  dis- 
trict embraced  the  counties  of  Audubon,  Carroll,  Crawford,  Green,  Guthrie 
and  Shelby.     In  1876  the  forty-ninth  district  remained  unchanged. 

From  1878  to  1882,  inclusive,  the  Thirty-first  senatorial  district  embraced 
the  counties  of  Audubon,  Dallas,  Guthrie  and  Shelby.  Since  1884,  and 
including  that  year,  the  seventeenth  senatorial  district  has  embraced  the 
counties  of  Audubon,  Dallas  and  Guthrie. 


In  1 85 1  the  district  for  representative  in  the  Legislature  embraced  the 
counties  of  Adams,  Adair,  Audubon,  Beuna  V^ista,  Buncombe  (now  Lyons), 
Carroll,  Cass,  Cherokee,  Clay,  Crawford,  Dickinson,  Fremont,  Harrison, 
Ida,  Mills,  Monona,  Montgomery,  O'Brien,  Osceola,  Plymouth.  Pottawat- 
tamie, Ringgold,  Sac,  Shelby,  Sioux,  Taylor,  Union  and  Wahkaw  (now 

In  1854  the  fortieth  representative  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Adams,  Adair,  Audubon,  Cass,  Mills,  Montgomery  and  Union. 

In  1855  the  sixteenth  representative  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Audubon,  Beuna  Vista,  Buncombe  (now  Lyons),  Carroll,  Calhoun,  Chero- 
kee, Clay,  Crawford,  Dickinson,  Emmet,  Harrison,  Ida,  Monona,  O'Brien, 
Osceola,  Palo  Alto,  Plymouth,  Pocahontas,  Sac,  Shelby,  Sioux  and  Wood- 
bury. In  1858  the  sixteenth  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Audubon, 
Boone,  Carroll  and  Greene. 

In  i860  the  thirty-sixth  representative  district  embraced  the  counties 
of  Audubon,  Guthrie,  Harrison  and  Shelby. 

In  1862  the  sixty-first  representative  district  embraced  the  counties 
of  Adair.  Audubon,  Cass  and  Guthrie. 

In  1864  the  sixty-first  representative  district  remained  unchanged. 


In  1866  the  sixty- fourth  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Audubon, 
Carroll,  Calhoun  and  Greene. 

In  1868  the  sixty-fourth  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Audubon, 
Guthrie  and  Greene. 

In  1870  the  fortieth  representative  district  embraced  the  counties  of 
Audubon,  Guthrie  and  Shelby. 

In  1872  the  fortieth  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Audubon,  Craw- 
ford,  Monona  and  Shelby. 

In  1874  the  twenty-first  representative  district  embraced  the  counties 
of  Adair,  Audubon,  Cass  and  Shelby.  In  1876  the  twenty-first  district 
remained  unchanged. 

From  1878  to  1882,  inclusive,  the  seventy- fourth  representative  dis- 
trict embraced  the  counties  of  Adair,  Audubon  and  Shelby. 

From  1884  to  1886,  inclusive,  Audubon  county  formed  the  eighty- 
second  representative  district. 

Since  1888,  and  including  that  year,  Audubon  county  has  formed  the 
thirty-fourth   representative  district. 


In  185 1  the  judicial  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Adair,  Adams, 
Audubon,  Buena  Vista,  Buncome  (Lyons),  Carroll,  Cass,  Cherokee,  Clay, 
Crawford,  Dickinson,  Fremont,  Harrison,  Ida,  Mills,  Monona,  Montgom- 
ery, O'Brien,  Osceola,  Page,  Plymouth,  Pottawattamie,  Ringgold,  Sac, 
Shelby,  Sioux,  Taylor,  Union  and  Wahkaw  (Woodbury). 

In  1853  the  sixth  judicial  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Adair, 
Adams,  Audubon,  Cass,  Fremont,  Guthrie,  Montgomery,  Page,  Ringgold, 
Taylor  and  Union. 

In  1857  the  seventh  judicial  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Audu- 
bon, Cass,  Harrison,  Pottawattamie  and  Shelby. 

From  1858  to  1862,  inclusive,  the  fifth  judicial  district  embraced  the 
counties  of  Adair,  Audubon,  Carroll,  Dallas,  Greene,  Guthrie,  Madison,  Polk 
and  Warren. 

In  1864  Cass  was  added  to  the  fifth  district. 

From  1866  to  1868  the  fifth  district  remained  unchanged. 

In  1872  the  thirteenth  judicial  district  embraced  the  counties  of  Audu- 
bon, Carroll,  Cass,  Crawford,  Fremont,  Greene,  Mills,  Pottawattamie  and 

Since.  1887  the  fifteenth  judicial  district  has  embraced  the  counties  of 

52  ■  AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA. 

Audubon,  Cass,  Fremont,  Harrison,  Mills,  Montgomery,  Page,  Pottawatta- 
mie and  Shelby. 


In  1857  the  twelfth  district  in  the  third  constitutional  convention 
embraced  the  counties  of  Audubon,  Buena  Vista,  Buncombe  (now  Lyons), 
Carroll,  Calhoun,  Cherokee,  Clay,  Crawford,  Dickinson,  Emmet,  Harrison, 
Ida,  Monona,  O'Brien,  Osceola,  Palo  Alto,  Plymouth,  Pocahontas,  Potta- 
wattamie, Sac,  Shelby,  Sioux  and  Woodbury. 


From  1853,  when  Audubon  county  was  attached  to  Cass  conuty  for 
civil  purposes,  it  remained  as  but  a  single  township  called  Audubon  town- 
ship, until  1862. 

On  June  3,  1863,  the  board  of  supervisors — consisting  of  but  one 
member,  Boynton  G.  Dodge — entered  an  order  dividing  the  county  into 
three  townships  as  follows :  Exira  township,  commencing  at  the  north- 
east corner  of  section  12,  township  78,  range  34  west;  thence  west  to  west 
line  of  the  county;  thence  north  on  the  county  line  to  the  correction  line; 
thence  west  on  county  line  to  southwest  corner  of  section  31,  township  79, 
range  36;  thence  north  on  county  line  to  northwest  corner  of  the  county; 
thence  east  on  county  line  to  northeast  corner  of  the  county;  thence  south 
to  the  southeast  corner  of  section  36,  township  79,  range  34;  thence  east 
on  line  to  northeast  corner  of  section  i,  township  78,  range  34;  thence 
south  to  southeast  corner  of  said  section  i.  place  of  beginning.  Audubon 
township,  commencing  at  southeast  corner  of  section  33,  township  78,  range 
35;  thence  north  to  northwest  corner  of  section  10;  thence  east  to  east  line 
of  the  county;  thence  south  on  county  line  to  southeast  corner  of  the 
county;  thence  west  to  place  of  beginning.  Oakfield  township,  commenc- 
ing at  southeast  corner  of  section  33,  township  78.  range  35  ;  thence  north 
to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  9;  thence  west  to  west  line  of  the  county; 
thence  south  on  county  line  to  southwest  corner  of  the  county;  thence  east 
to  place  of  beginning. 

This  division  gave  to  Exira  township  the  territory  embraced  in  the  nine 
northern  townships  of  the  county,  and  also  a  strip  two  sections  wide  off 
the  north  end  of  the  other  three  townships.     It  was  manifestly  unjust.     At 


that  time  most  of  the  residents  of  the  county  lived  within  the  Hmits  of 
township  78,  range  35,  now  Exira  township. 

On  June  8,  1863,  the  board  of  supervisors  entered  another  order,  sub- 
dividing the  county  into  civil  townships  as  follows : 

Audubon  township  embraced  the  east  half  of  township  78,  range  35, 
except  sections  i,  2  and  3,  and  all  of  township  78,  range  34,  township  79, 
range  34,  township  80,  range  34,  and  township  81,  range  34. 

Exira  township  embraced  sections  i  to  6,  inclusive,  in  township  78. 
range  35,  and  all  of  township  79.  range  35,  township  80,  range  35,  and 
township  81,  range  35.  " 

Oakfield  township  embraced  the  west  half  of  township  78,  range  35, 
except  sections  4,  5  and  6.  and  all  of  township  78,  range  36,  township  79, 
range  36,  township  80,  range  36,  and  township  81,  range  36,  which  was  an 
equitable  division.  It  di^•ided  the  settled  portion  of  the  county  fairly  between 
the  several  townships. 


The  town  of  Exira,  being  the  county  seat,  was  supposed  to  hold 
advantages  over  other  portions  of  the  county,  and  jealousies  arose  which 
continued  as  long  as  it  was  the  county  seat.  Traces  of  heart  burnings  on 
that  account  have  not  ceased  at  the  present  time.  The  causes  were  too 
numerous  to  mention  them  all ;  some  were  politic,  some  social,  and  others 
from  business  competition,  etc.  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  who  lived  on  Trouble- 
some creek  in  the  new  Audubon  township,  was  one  of  the  wealthiest  men 
in  the  county.  He  lived  on  the  route  from  Des  Moines  to  Council  Bluffs 
and  was  the  most  widely  known  business  man  in  the  county  for  many  years. 
Hamlin  and  Hamlin's  Grove  were  known  state  wide,  and  in  other  states 
where  Audubon  county  land  was  then  owned.  He  had  founded  the  town 
of  Audubon  City,  near  his  home,  which  had  proved  a  failure  from  the  start. 

Daniel  M.  Harris  (who  at  first  had  lived  near  Hamlin),  in  the  year 
1857,  with  David  Edgerton,  founded  the  town  of  Exira,  which  became 
the  county  seat  in  1861.  Harris  at  once  became  popular,  and  was  by  far 
the  ablest  business  man  in  the  county.  He  held  the  office  of  county  judge 
from  1856  to  1 86 1  inclusive,  while  Hamlin  was  treasurer  and  recorder, 
the  financial  officer  of  the  county,  from  1856  to  1863  inclusive.  They 
became  rivals  in  business  and  in  local  politics,  although  both  were  Demo- 
crats. Mr.  Hamlin  became  prejudiced  against  Exira,  which  continued  as 
long  as  he  lived.     In  1866  he  founded  the  town  of  Louisville,  and  attempt- 


ed  to  move  the  county  seat  there  from  Exira,  but  failed.  In  1872  he 
became  interested  in  the  town  of  Old  Hamlin,  and  attempted  to  move  the 
county  seat  there.  He  was  also  a  prominent  factor  in  enjoining  the  build- 
ing of  a  court  house  at  Exira  in  1872-3. 

Oakfield  was  founded  in  1858,  and  started  the  first  store  in  the  coun- 
ty. It  was  a  rival  to  Exira  from  its  start  until  the  advent  of  the  railroad 
in  1 87 1,  when  it  was  eclipsed  by  the  town  of  Bray  ton.  It  was  the  custom 
of  Oakfield  people  to  assume  superiority  over  the  people  of  Exira  in  social 
functions.  They  had  a  decided  weakness  in  making  themselves  disagree- 
able in  that  way.  If  Exira  people  got  up  a  festivity  or  started  some  local 
improvement,  a  new  road,  bridge,  building,  etc.,  the  people  of  Oakfield 
were  prone  to  discount  it  and  go  one  better.  Their  picnics,  dances,  etc., 
were  foolishly  "cracked  up"  to  be  in  advance  of  anything  Exira  could  pro- 
duce; and  so  it  went  on,  straining  the  cordiality  and  friendship  that  should 
have  existed  between  the  little  towns.  It  is  justice  to  say  that  their  people 
did  lay  themselves  out  in  their  best  style  to  entertain.  But  for  political 
meetings,  Fourth  of  July  celebrations  and  religious  meetings  Exira  usually 
came  out  "ahead  of  the  hounds." 


After  the  close  of  the  Civil  War,  immigration  flowed  towards  this 
county;  people  came  here  in  goodly  numbers,  and  by  1870  the  population 
of  the  county  had  more  than  doubled  in  the  previous  five  years.  The 
north  end  of  the  county  settled  up  as  never  before,  and  was  demanding 
more  rights  for  schools,  roads,  bridges,  voting  precincts,  etc.,  to  which  they 
were  fairly  entitled.  The  question  of  the  organization  of  new  townships 
naturally  arose.  Mr.  Hamlin  and  his  followers,  with  the  Oakfield  contin- 
gent, were  ever  ready  to  knife  Exira  in  any  public  way.  The  growing 
interests  in  the  north  part  of  the  county  presented  an  opportunity  to  strike 
the  fatal  blow.  The  troubles  that  hovered  around  the  fated  county  seat 
opened  in  1871.  Several  parties,  about  this  time,  set  the  ball  to  rolling 
and  agitated  the  reconstruction  of  the  township  organization  in  the  county, 
suggesting  various  plans,  but  without  uniform  action  or  support.  There 
were  general  demands  for  more  voting  places  in  the  northern  portion  of 
the  county. 

On  June  7,  1871,  that  enterprising,  progressive,  genial,  energetic  citi- 
zen, Ethelbert  J.  Freeman,  the  gentleman  from  Leroy,  presented  a  petition 
to  the  board  of  supervisors  praying   for  the  erection  of  new  townships. 


And  the  board  of  supervisors,  consisting  of  William  H.  H.  Bowen,  John 
W.  Dodge  and  John  T.  Jenkins,  entered  an  order  subdividing  the  county 
into  four  civil  townships,  as  follows :  Audubon  township,  commencing  at 
the  southwest  corner  of  section  34  and  southeast  corner  of  section  33, 
township  78,  range  35,  thence  north  to  southwest  corner  of  the  northwest 
quarter  of  section  10,  same  township;  thence  east  to  the  southeast  corner 
of  said  northwest  quarter;  thence  north  to  the  section  line;  thence  east 
to  the  southeast  corner  of  section  i,  township  78,  range  35;  thence  north 
to  the  connection  line;  thence  west  to  the  southeast  corner  of  section  32, 
township  79,  range  34;  thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  20, 
township  80,  range  34;  thence  east  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  21, 
same  township;  thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  28,  town- 
ship 81,  range  34;  thence  east  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  27,  same 
township;  thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  22,  same  town- 
ship; thence  west  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  21,  same  township; 
thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  9,  same  township;  thence 
east  to  the  county  line;  thence  south  to  the  southeast  corner  of  township 

79,  range  34;  thence  east  to  the  northeast  corner  of  township  78,  range 
34;  thence  south  to  the  southeast  corner  of  said  township;  thence  west 
to  place  of  beginning.  Exira  township,  commencing  at  the  northeast  cor- 
ner of  section  i,  township  78,  range  35;  thence  west  to  the  southeast  cor- 
ner of  section  32,  township  79,  range  34;  thence  north  to  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  20,  township  80,  range  34 ;  thence  west  to  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  24,  township  80,  range  35 ;  thence  south  to  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  36,  township  80,  range  35 ;  thence  west  to  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  34,  township  80,  range  35;  thence  north  to  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  27,  same  township;  thence  west  to  the  northeast  corner 
of  section  29,  same  township;  thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner  of  sec- 
tion 5,  same  township;  thence  west  to  northeast  corner  of  section  3,  township 

80,  range  36 ;  thence  south  to  the  correction  line ;  thence  east  to  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  i,  township  78,  range  36;  thence  south  to  the  southeast 
corner  of  said  section  i ;  thence  east  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  9, 
township  78,  range  35  ;  thence  south  to  the  southwest  corner  of  the  north- 
west quarter  of  section  10,  same  township;  thence  east  to  the  southeast 
corner  of  the  southwest  quarter  of  said  section  10;  thence  north  to  the  sec- 
tion Hne  of  said  section  10;  thence  east  to  the  southeast  comer  of  section  i, 
township  78,  range  35 ;  thence  north  to  the  place  of  beginning.  Oakfield 
township,  commencing  at  the  southeast  corner  of  section  33,  township  78, 
range  35;  thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  9,   same  town- 


ship;  thence  west  to  the  southwest  corner  of  section  6,  same  township; 
thence  north  to  the  correction  Hne;  thence  west  to  the  southwest  corner  of 
section  35,  township  79,  range  36;  thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner  of 
section  3,  township  80,  range  36;  thence  west  to  the  northwest  corner  of 
said  section;  thence  north  to  the  county  hne;  thence  west  to  the  northwest 
corner  of  the  county;  thence  south  to  the  correction  hne;  thence  east  to 
the  northwest  corner  of  township  78,  range  36;  thence  south  to  the  south- 
west corner  of  the  county;  thence  east  to  place  of  beginning.  Leroy  town- 
ship, commencing  at  the  northeast  corner  of  Audubon  county;  thence  south 
to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  12,  township  81,  range  34;  thence  west 
to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  9,  same  township;  thence  south  to  the 
northeast  corner  of  section  21,  same  township;  thence  east  to  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  22,  same  township;  thence  south  to  the  northeast  corner 
of  section  27,  same  township;  thence  west  to  the  northeast  corner  of  sec- 
tion 28,  same  township;  thence  south  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  21, 
township  80,  range  34;  thence  west  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  24, 
township  80,  range  35;  thence  south  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  36, 
same  township;  thence  west  to  the  southeast  corner  of  section  ij,  same 
township;  thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner  of  said  section  i"] \  thence 
west  to  the  northeast  corner  of  section  29,  same  township;  thence  north  to 
the  northeast  corner  of  section  5,  same  township ;  thence  west  to  the  north- 
west corner  of  section  3,  same  township;  thence  north  to  the  county  hne; 
thence  east  to  place  of  beginning. 

The  result  of  this  action  could  not  have  been  foreseen  by  the  super- 
visors, two  of  whom  were  favorable  to  the  best  interests  of  Exira.  They 
acted  hastily,  without  proi)€r  consideration  of  the  subject,  and  were  over- 
reached and  misled  by  the  plotters  against  Exira.  Their  order  was  a  con- 
summate blunder.  The  boundaries  as  established  were  unsystematic,  the 
government  township  lines  were  ignored  and  without  any  valid  reason,  which 
was  calculated  to  throw  the  records  into  confusion  for  all  public  use  and 
utility.  It  would  have  required  a  corps  of  engineers  to  locate  the  limits 
of  the  several  townships  as  thus  organized.  It  was  utterly  unpractical, 
unsatisfactory  and  pleased  no  one,  except  those  misguided  people  whc 
rejoiced  that  Exira  had  received  a  "black  eye."  It  was  a  ridiculous,  con- 
temptible performance,  in  light  of  subsequent  events. 

Two  years  later,  when  the  system  had  been  tried  out,  its  defects  seen 
and  the  wants  of  the  people  better  understood,  the  subject  came  on  for 
further  consideration.  The  people  had  then  l)een  fightmg  fiercely  over  the 
county   seat,    and   the  building   or   non-building  of   a   court   house.     Party 


political  lines,  locally,  were  entirely  wiped  out.  The  people  of  Exira  were 
hostile  and  indignant  against  all  its  opponents,  and  vice  versa.  The  super- 
visors, as  then  constituted,  were  two  to  one  against  Exira.  The  matter 
came  on  for  hearing  upon  the  suggestion  of  Arthur  L.  Sanborn,  Esq.,  of 
Viola,  member  of  the  board.  O.  C.  Keith,  of  Oakfield,  spoke  in  favor  of 
the  proposition.  At  that  meeting  the  present  writer  appeared  before  the 
supervisors  and  advocated  the  organization  of  new  townships  according 
to  the  wishes  of  the  people  of  the  county,  upon  the  system  of  making  each 
government  or  congressional  township  a  civil  township. 

•April  9,  1873,  the  supervisors,  composed  of  John  W.  Dodge,  John 
Noon  and  Arthur  L.  Sanborn,  entered  the  following  orders  in  the  mat- 
ter: Township  78,  range  36,  and  that  part  of  township  78,  range  35,  as 
now  lays  in  the  civil  township  of  Oakfield,  be  made  the  civil  township  of 
Oakfield ;  and  all  that  portion  of  said  civil  township  as  it  now  exists  north 
of  the  territory  named  be  stricken  from  said  Oakfield  civil  township. 
Township  81,  range  34,  and  township  81,  range  35,  organized  as  the  civil 
township  of  Viola.  Township  81,  range  36,  and  township  80,  range  36. 
organized  as  the  civil  township  of  Douglas.  Township  80,  range  34,  and 
township  80,  range  35,  organized  as  Leroy  township. 

As  far  as  practical,  Mr.  Keith,  who  was  a  bitter  partisan  against 
Exira,  but  a  personal  friend  of  the  writer,  adopted  the  same  view,  except 
that  he  would  not  yield  the  favor  to  Exira  township  at  that  time ;  although 
he  afterwards  did  so.  We  readily  agreed  together  and  the  supervisors, 
being  favorable  to  the  general  proposition,  in  a  short  time  made  their 
orders  as  appear  below,  with  better  feeling  all  around.  All  previous 
efforts  to  accommodate  the  business  along  the  proposed  line  had  failed. 
It  was  considered  impractical.  The  Exira  people  hesitated  about  adopt- 
ing the  plan,  but  tacitly  acquiesced,  never  to  regret  it  so  far  as  known.  This 
was  the  inside  fact  of  the  business,  and  it  took  place  in  the  little  old  county 
office  on  the  east  side  of  the  public  square,  Exira,  to  the  permanent  bene- 
fit of  the  people  of  Audubon  county.  It  was  a  move  in  the  right  direction 
— a  big  day's  work. 

Township  79,  range  34,  was  organized  as  Greeley  township.  Town- 
ship 79,  range  35,  and  township  79,  range  36,  organized  as  Hamlin  town- 
ship. Township  78,  range  34,  organized  as  Audubon  township.  Sec- 
tions I,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  10,  II,  12,  13,  14,  15,  22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  34,  35 
and  36,  in  township  78,  range  35,  organized  as  Exira  township.  This  was 
manifestly  unfair  towards  Exira  township  and  was   so  intended.     It  was 


gracefully  accepted  in  this  form  by  Exira  people,  believing  that  the  injus- 
tice would  be  subsequently  remedied. 

The  following  year,  Isaac  Thomas,  one  of  the  supervisors,  caught  the 
right  idea,  and  emphatically  declared  at  a  meeting  of  the  supervisors  that 
he  was  in  favor  of  making  each  "congregational"'  township  a  civil  town- 
ship. His  meaning  was  understood,  adopted  and  followed  until  the  entire 
system  was  carried  out. 

September  8,  1874,  township  80,  range  34,  was  organized  as  Melville 

October  20,  1874,  township  78,  range  35,  organized  as  Exira  town- 
ship; township  78,  range  36,  organized  as  Oakfield  township;  township 
81,  range  35,  organzed  as  Cameron  township. 

September  6,  1875,  township  79,  range  36,  organized  as  Sharon  town- 

June  5,  1876,  township  81,  range  36,  was  organized  as  Lincoln  town- 

As  now  organized,  the  civil  townships  of  Audubon  county  are  as  fol- 
low, with  dates  of  organization : 

Audubon,  township  78,  range  34.   April  9,    1873. 

Exira,  township  78,  range  35,  October  20,   1874. 

Oakfield,  township  78,   range   36,  October  20,    1874. 

Greeley,  township  79.  range  34.  April  9,  1873. 

*Hamlin,  township  79,  range  35,  April  9,   1873. 

*Sharon,   township  79,  range  36,   September  6.    1875. 

f Melville,  township  80,  range  34,  September  8.   1874. 

•f-Leroy,  township  80,  range  35,  April  9,   1873. 

§Douglas.  township  80,  range  36,  April  9,   1873. 

§Lincoln,  township  81,  range  36,  June  5.    1876. 

iViola,  township  81.  range  34.   April  9,   1873. 

JCameron,   township  81.   range  35,   October  20,    1874. 

*Sharon  township  was  severed  from  Hamlin.  September '  6.  1875; 
•fMelville  township  was  severed  from  Leroy.  September  8.  1874;  §Lincoln 
township  was  severed  from  Douglas.  June  5.  1876;  :}:Cameron  township 
was  severed  from  \'iola,  October  20,  1874. 


It  is  impossible,  at  this  time,  for  people  who  have  not  experienced 
similar   life   and   scenes,   to   realize   correctly  the   privations   and   hardships 


which  confronted  the  pioneer  settlers;  and  it  is  difficult  to  delineate  by 
pen  or  picture  an  accurate  description  of  what  they  endured.  It  cannot 
be  fully  accomplished.  When  they  came  here  an  unbroken  wilderness 
extended  north  to  the  confines  of  the  Arctic  ocean;  they  were  twenty  miles 
from  the  borders  of  the  most  primitive  civilization,  without  a  human  habi- 
tation to  shelter  them,  not  a  highway  or  bridge  on  which  to  cross  the 
streams  within  the  limits  of  the  county;  only  a  few  trails  made  by  the 
Mormons.  It  was  a  wilderness,  but  it  was  a  beautiful  one,  not  a  desert. 
The  nearest  grist-mills  were  Tam's  mill,  to  the  east,  on  the  Coon  river, 
or  to  the  south,  on  the  Nodaway  river  in  northern  ^Missouri,  manv  miles 
distant.  The  nearest  stores  where  goods,  groceries  and  family  supplies 
could  be  obtained  were  at  Des  Moines  and  Kanesville  (Council  Bluffs), 
and  the  nearest  postoffice  was  Des  Moines. 

The  first  demand  on  the  settlers  was  to  provide  places  of  abode.  They 
brought  only  a  limited  supply  of  food  and  provisions,  also  seed  for  start- 
ing their  first  crops,  and  the  commonest  articles  for  household  use,  plows 
and  implements  for  farming,  and  a  few  common  mechanical  tools.  They 
brought  their  trusty  rifles,  upon  which  to  depend  for  defense,  if  necessary, 
and  upon  which  to  depend  for  venison  and  game  to  supply  them  with  meat. 

After  providing  their  shelter,  the  next  serious  claim  was  a  supply  of 
food.  Elk  and  deer  were  abundant,  as  well  as  many  kinds  of  small  game. 
To  the  uninitiated  this  may,  at  first  thought,  suggest  luxurious  living  and 
a  land  of  milk  and  honey,  so  to  speak.  It  is  far  from  the  real  fact.  A 
taste  of  venison  or  game  now  and  then  is  a  dainty;  but.  for  steady  diet,  it 
soon  becomes  unpalatable  and  tiresome.  Then,  a  feed  of  bacon,  salt  pork 
or  most  anything  for  a  change  is  delicious.  Still,  people  can  exist  almost 
wholly  on  game,  if  it  becomes  a  necessity. 


The  first  cabins  were  built  of  logs  (timber  was  abundant)  and  with- 
out floors.  Afterwards,  floors  were  made  of  "puncheons,"  split  from  logs 
and  hewed  to  place.  Rock  or  mud  and  sticks  were  used  in  the  construc- 
tion of  fireplaces  and  chimneys.  The  cooking  was  all  done  at  the  open 
fireplace,  even  the  bread  being  baked  before  the  fire  in  tin  "reflectors,"  arti- 
cles unseen  or  unheard-of  by  the  present  generation,  or  in  Dutch  ovens. 

Stables  then,  and  many  years  later,  were  built  by  setting  forked  posts 
in  the  ground,  with  a  frame  of  poles  for  the  roof,  covered  with  wild  hay, 
banked  up  with  manure,  as  it  was  used,  which  made  comfortable  shelters 


for  Stock.  When  they  became  difficult  of  ingress  and  egress,  from  accum- 
ulation of  manure,  the  stable  was  moved,  as  it  was  cheaper  and  easier  than 
to  move  the  manure.  Verily,  methods  of  agriculture  have  evolutionized. 
The  expense  of  erecting  buildings,  breaking  out  and  fencing  farms 
greatly  exceeded  the  first  cost  of  the  land ;  but  it  was  done  by  the  bone 
and  muscle  of  the  pioneer,  which  did  not  call  for  cash,  a  scarce  item  in 
those  days.  Farms,  at  first,  were  usually  fenced  with  high,  zigzag  rail 
fences,  split  out  from  the  finest  oak  and  walnut  timber.  Such  improvements 
would  be  an  expensive  luxury  now ;  it  was  cheap  then. 


Hamlin  and  Jenkins  both  brought  horses  and  cattle  in  185 1.  As  the 
settlers  multiplied,  stock  increased  and  soon  hogs  and  poultry  became  com- 
mon. The  Herricks,  who  came  from  near  Beloit,  Wisconsin,  by  way  of 
Dubuque  and  Des  INIoines,  brought  several  hundred  sheep,  in  1854.  They 
were  the  first  sheep  brought  to  the  county.     "Folly"   Herrick  says  it   was 

his  job  to  herd  them  along  the  ridge  where  John  now  lives.     Uncle 

"Natty  Hamlin"  brought  a  large  hand-mill,  which  was  used  alternately  by 
the  neighbors  for  grinding  corn  and  buckwheat.  Many  people  grated  new 
corn  as  a  substitute   for  meal  and  flour. 


The  year  of  the  first  settlement  had  not  ended  when  the  little  colony 
was  visited  by  the  sad  affliction  of  death  in  childl)irth  of  the  wife  of  Philip 
Arthur  Decker,  in  December,  1851,  which  found  them  wholly  unprepared 
for  the  calamity.  She  was  a  daughter  of  the  widow  Hoggard  and  sister 
of  John  and  Betsy  Ann  Hoggard.  There  was  not  even  lumber  at  hand 
from  which  to  make  a  coffin  for  burial  of  the  poor  lady.  Then  Nathaniel 
Hamlin,  John  S.  Jenkins  and  James  Kincaid  (perhaps  others)  split  out 
slabs  from  basswood  timber  and  fashioned  from  it  a  rude  box  as  best  they 
could,  in  which  they  placed  the  body,  acted  as  pallbearers  and  buried  it  in 
the  field  on  top  of  the  hill  in  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  17,  now  in 
Exira  township,  now  owned  by  Julius  E.  Herrick.  The  grave  has  been 
unmarked  for  fifty  years. 


About  1852-3  John  Countryman  built  a  water-power  saw-mill  on  the 
east  bank  of  Troublesome  creek  in  section  13,  in  what  is  now  Exira  town- 


ship,  near  the  Strahl  place.  It  was  the  first  power-mill  of  any  kind  in  the 
county,  and  was  doubtless  of  valuable  assistance  to  the  early  settlers,  in 
furnishing  the  first  supply  of  sawed  lumber  produced  within  the  county.  It 
was  of  short  duration,  and  probably  went  out  of  use  when  the  steam  saw- 
mills were  erected  in  1856  by  Green  and  others,  and  by  Ballard.  We  have 
failed  to  discover  when  Countryman  left  the  county.  He  built  the  first 
frame  house  here,  which  he  afterwards  sold  to  Dawson  Glasgow.  The 
building  of  the  steam-mills  in  1856  were  most  important  events,  and  prob- 
ably did  more  to  develop  the  county  than  any  previous  enterprise. 

Howard  Jay  Green  and  Franklin  Burnham,  who  came  here  from 
Maquoketa,  Iowa,  in  1856,  were  prominent  in  developing  the  business  of 
Audubon  county.  They  came  expressly  to  erect  and  operate  a  steam  saw- 
mill, and  made  a  contract  for  the  necessary  materials  and  machinery  there- 
for before  coming  here,  as  follows : 


"S.  S.  Vail  &  Company  agree  to  furnish  Green  &  Burnham,  of  Maquo- 
keta, Jackson  county,  Iowa,  a  steam  engine  of  ten-inch  bore  and  twenty- 
inch  stroke  and  a  circular  saw-mill  complete,  with  the  exception  of  boiler, 
boiler  irons,  sheet-iron  chimney  and  breeching,  for  the  sum  of  ten  hundred 
and  thirty-three  dollars,  or,  provided  Green  &  Burnham  order  the  boiler, 
boiler  irons,  sheet-iron  chimney  and  breeching  after  this  date,  we  agree  to 
furnish  the  same  with  the  said  engine  and  saw-mill  fixtures  complete  for 
the  sum  of  seventeen  hundred  dollars.  Said  boiler  to  be  forty-inch  diam- 
eter, fourteen-inch  flues  and  twenty  feet  long.  Said  chimney  to  be  twen- 
ty-six-inch diameter,  fifty  feet  long,  with  breeching  to  match  same.  The 
above  machinery  to  be  completed  on  the  first  day  of  April  next.  Said 
machinery  to  be  made  in  a  good,  substantial,  workmanlike  manner. 

"We,  the  said  Green  &  Burnham,  agree  to  pay  to  S.  S.  \^ail  &  Com- 
pany the  sum  of  one  hundred  dollars  on  contract  and  two-thirds  at  the  time 
of  delivery  of  the  machinery  and  the  remaining  one-third  in  four  months 
from  the  time  of  delivery. 

"To  this   writing  the  different  parties  subscribe  and  agree. 

"Keokuk,  January  15,  1856. 

"S.  S.  Vail  &  Company, 
"By   S.   Armitage." 

The  huge  boiler  was  brought  up  the  Des  Moines  river  from  Keokuk 
on  a  small  steamer  to  near  Fort  Des  Moines;  thence  by  ox  teams  over  the 


old  stage  road,  via  Hamlin's  Grove,  to  the  mill  site  in  section  17,  now  in 
Exira  township.  The  other  machinery  was  shipped  from  Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania,  down  the  Ohio  river;  thence  up  the  Mississippi  river  to  Keo- 
kuk, and  then  brought  here  by  teams.  It  is  claimed  that  the  road  through 
the  Big  Grove  was  specially  prepared  for  hauling  these  heavy  loads.  Green 
and  Burnham  erected  the  mill  themselves,  assisted  by  Charles  L.  Chapin, 
in  1856.  The  three  families  at  first  lived  near  the  mill  in  separate  dwellings. 
The  mill  was  a  success  from  the  start,  and  turn  out  something  like  ten 
thousand  feet  of  sawed  lumber  a  day,  with  its  big  circular  saw.  Green  was 
the  sawyer  for  many  years. 

About  the  same  time,  Dr.  Samuel  U.  Ballard  erected  a  steam  saw-mill 
on  the  east  side  of  the  Botna  river  in  the  timber  near  his  residence  in  sec- 
tion 25,  in  what  is  now  Oakfield  township. 

About  1858  Joshua  A.  and  Elam  W.  Pearl,  brothers,  erected  a  water- 
power  saw-mill  on  the  Botna  at  Oakfield.  Alva  B.  Brown  and  Julius  M. 
Hubbard  were  also  interested  in  this  mill.  The  saw-mills  supplied  abun- 
dance of  lumber  for  building  purposes,  and  the  few  people  here  then 
improved  the  opportunity  by  erecting  frame  dwellings;  a  few  of  the  more 
enterprising  ones  built  frame  barns,  and  several  frame  school  houses  were 
built  at  that  period.  Still  the  people  had  to  go  a  long  distance  to  get  their 
grain  made  into  flour  and  meal.  About  1859  Mr.  Green,  with  John 
McConnell  and  Henry  S.  Myers,  who  had  secured  an  interest  in  the  Green 
&  Burnham  saw-mill,  met  the  desired  want  by  attaching  a  flouring-mill  to 
their  business.  From  that  time  onward  the  steam  flour  and  saw-mill  was 
one  of  the  busy  places  in  the  county.  In  1866  the  town  of  Louisville  was 
laid  out  and  platted  there  by  Nathaniel  Hamlin.  The  mill  was  then  owned 
by  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  George  T.  Poage  and  Levi  Zaner.  An  attempt  was 
made  that  year  to  change  the  county  seat  to  Louisville,  which  failed  of  suc- 
cess. It  continued  to  remain  one  of  the  best  business  points  in  the  county 
until  the  Chicago,  Rock  Island  &  Pacific  railroad  w^as  put  through  from 
Des  Moines  to  Council  Bluffs  in  1868.  That  event  supplied  the  county 
with  pine  lumber,  which  was  preferred  rather  than  the  native  lumber  for 
building  purposes.  Tlie  old  mill  had  its  day  in  the  economy  of  developing 
this  part  of  the  country,  and  passed  away.  Its  old  steam  boiler  broke 
through  the  bridge  at  Panora,  while  being  hauled  away  for  old  iron,  and 
was  dumped  into  the  Coon  river,  where  it  found  a  last  resting  place. 




John  A.  Kasson,  Des  Moines,  1863-7;  Grenville  M.  Dodge,  CounciL 
Bluffs,  i868'-9;  Frank  W.  Palmer,  Des  Moines,  1870-3;  James  W.  McDill,. 
Afton,  1874-7;  William  F.  Sapp,  Council  Bluffs,  1878-81;  William  P.  Hep- 
burn, Clarinda,  1882-3;  William  H.  M.  Pusey,  Council  Bluffs,  1884-5;  Joseph 
Lyman,  Council  Bluffs,  1886-9;  Joseph  R.  Reed,  Council  Bluffs,  1890-1 ;. 
Thomas  Bowman,  Council  Bluffs,  1892-3;  Alva  L.  Hager,  Greenfield,  1894-9;. 
Walter  I.  Smith,  Council  Bluffs,  1900-11;  William  R.  Green,  Audubon,  191 1; 
to  date.  [ 


E.  H.  Sears.  Sidney,  1855-8;  John  H.  Gray,  Des  Moines,  1858-65; 
Hugh  W.  Maxwell,  Indianola,  1866-71 ;  Joseph  R.  Reed,  Council  Bluffs, 
1872-83;  Charles  F.  Loofborough,  Atlantic,  1884-89;  James  P.  Conner,^ 
Denison,  1887-90;  Andrew  B.  Thornell,  Sidney,  1887  to  date;  Horace  E. 
Deemer,  Red  Oak,  1887-92;  Nathan  W.  Macy,  Harlan,  1889-1909;  Walter. 
I.  Smith.  Council  Bluffs,  1891-1900;  William  R.  Green,  Audubon,  1895 — ;. 
Orville  D.  Wheeler,  Council  Bluff's,  1899  to  date;  Eugene  W.  Woodruff ,j 
Glenwood,  1909  to  date;  Thomas  Arthur,  Logan;  Joseph  B.  Rockafellow,; 
Atlantic,  19 13  to  date. 


Frederick  Mott,  Winterset,  1868-71  ;  Thomas  R.  Stockton,  Sidney^ 
1872-75;  Charles  F.  Loofborough,  Atlantic,  1876-83;  Joseph  Lyman,  Coun- 
cil Bluff's,  1884;  James  P.  Conner,  Denison,  1885-6;  George  Carson,  Council 
Bluffs,  1887-90. 


George  Cosson,  from  Audubon  county,  191 1  to  1914. 

64  .  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA. 


Henry  F.  Andrews,  i8'92-5 ;  George  Cosson,   1909-12. 


Daniel  M.  Harris,  1860-1 ;  John  A.  Hallock,  1878-9;  Jacob  A.  Over- 
holtzer,  1882-7;  \\^illiam  \\'alker,  1888-90;  Albert  L.  Brooks.  1892-3;  Marion 
D.  Reed,  1894-5;  Abner  H.  Edwards,  1896-7;  Thomas  L.  Kelly,  1898-9; 
Asmus  Boylen,  1900-3;  David  C.  Mott,  1904-6;  John  C.  Bonwell,  1907-10; 
Ole  H.  Jacobsen,  1911-14;  Otto  Witthaiier,  191 5. 


1855,  Thomas  S.  Lewis;  1856-9.  Daniel  M.  Harris;  1860-3,  Appolonius 
B.  Houston;  1864-5,  Isaac  P.  Hallock;  1866.  John  S.  Jenkins;  1867,  John  R. 
Thacker;  1868-9,  Amherst  Heath;  1869,  Henry  F.  Andrews;  1869,  Albert 
I.  Brainard.     The  office  was  abolished,  to  take  effect  December  31,    1869. 


1855,  ]\Iiles  Beers;  1856-63,  Nathaniel  Hamlin;  1864-65,  Carlos  E. 
Frost.     The  offices  of  treasurer  and  recorder  were  separated  in  1864. 


1855-6,  John  W.  Beers;  1857-60,  Franklin  Burnham;  1861-2,  Richard 
Gault;  1863-4,  John  A.  Hallock:  1865,  George  W.  Cannon  (A.  B.  Houston, 
deputy);  1866-8,  Albert  L  Brainard;  1869-70,  John  \V.  Scott;  1871-2,  H. 
Ransford;  1873,  Thomas  Walker;  1873-8,  Alonzo  L.  Campbell;  1879-84, 
Frank  P.  Bradley;  1885-6,  Robert  J.  Hunter;  1887-94,  Charles  H.  Vail; 
1895-6,  Joseph  F.  Garnett,  1897-1900,  Harry  D.  Woodward;  1901-4,  Lester 
J.  Hill;  1905-8,  Charles  S.  White;  1909-12,  Lewis  A.  McGinnis;  1913  to 
date,  Frank  AL  Rice. 


1887-90,  Henry  W.  Hanna ;  1891-4.  Richard  C.  Carpenter;  1895-6, 
William  Wonn;  1897-8,  Frank  E.  Brainard;  1899-1900,  James  M.  Graham; 

^  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  65 

1901-4,  Fred  H.  Blume;  1905-6,  George  Cosson;  1907-8,  James  M.  Graham; 
1909-12,  Halleck  J.  Mantz;  1913  to  date,  John  A,  Graham. 


1870-1,  Albert  I.  Brainard;  1872-5,  Hubert  S.  Wattles;  1876-81, 
Thomas  Walker;  1882-5,  William  F.  Stotts;  1886-9,  John  H.  Rendleman; 
1890-2,  Frank  P.  Rees ;  1893-6,  John  E.  McGuire;  1897-8,  Thomas  Lohner; 
1899-1904,  August  F.  Greenwaldt;  1905-8,  Orrin  B.  Train;  1909-10,  Edward 

B.  Cousins;  191 1-4,  Otto  Witthauer;  1915,  Harry  A.  Northup. 


1866-9,  Appolonius  B.  Houston;  1870-3,  Charles  Van  Gorder;  1874-7, 
William  F.  Stotts;  1878-81,  Daniel  W.  Harris;  1882-5,  Ethelbert  J.  Free- 
man; 1886-7,  William  F.  Stotts;  1888-91,  John  B.  Doak;  1892-3,  John  C. 
Dawson;  1893  (October),  John  B.  Doak;  1894-9,  Lewis  D.  Phelps;  1900-7, 
Charles  E.  Breniman;  1907-10,  George  E.  Kellogg;  191 1-2,  Howard  E. 
Kittell;  1913  to  date,  Martin  E.  Mortensen. 


1865-6,  John  Crane;  1867-8,  Henry  F.  Andrews;  1869-70,  William  F. 
Stotts;  1870-2,  Alonzo  L.  Campbell;  1873-4,  Emerson  H.  Kimball;  1875-6, 
John  S.  Toft;  1877-80,  John  M.  Crocker;  1881-4,  Samuel  P.  Rhoades;  1885- 
6,  Otto  Witthauer;  1887-90,  Adelbert  L.  Weaver;  1891-4,  Timothy  H. 
Beason;  1895-6,  John  H.  Scott;  1897-1900,  Martin  N.  Esbeck;   1901-4,  O. 

C.  Donaldson;  1905-8,  Ed  Wood;  1909-12,  Lars  C.  Christoffersen ;  1913  to 
date,  Clarice  Oelke. 


1855-6,  Benjamin  M.  Hiatt;  1857-9,  Charles  L.  Chapin;  1860-3,  Urbane 
Herrick;  1864-5,  Elam  W.  Pearl;  1866-7,  Andrew  J.  Leffingwell;  1868-9, 
John  Huntley;  1870,  Samuel  R.  Thomas;  1 870-1,  Lysannius  M.  Anderson; 
1872-5,  John  B.  Counrardy;  1876-9,  Joseph  L.  Stotts;  1880-5,  Henry  B. 
Herbert,  1886-9,  William  Mallory;  1890-5,  William  S.  Armstrong;  1896-9, 
John  H.  Jones;  1900-3,  Fern  L.  Anderson;  1904-8,  William  Northup;  1909- 
12,  Walkup  M.  Crees;  1913  to  date,  Charles  Sunberg. 


66  AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA.  , 


1859-60,  Levi  B.  Montgomery;  1861-3,  Robert  N.  Day;  1864-5,  Boyn- 
ton  G.  Dodge;  1866-7,  Benjamin  F.  Thomas;  1868-9,  Boynton  G.  Dodge; 
1870-1,  David  B.  Beers;  1872-3,  John  Hunter;  1874-5,  Harmon  G.  Smith; 
1876-7,  Benjamin  F.  Thacker;  1878-9,  Albert  K.  Brainard ;  1880-3,  Robert 
M.  Carpenter;  1884-9,  Charles  F.  Willcutt;  1890-7.  David  P.  Repass; 
1898-9,  Robert  C.  Spencer;  1900-6,  Arthur  Farquhar;  1907  to  date,  Ella  M. 


1855,  John  W.  Beers;  1856-75,  Peoria  I.  Whitted;  1876-7,  Robert  T. 
Smart;  1878-9,  Luther  C.  Frost;  1880-3,  Hubert  S.  Wattles;  1884-5,  Luther 
C.  Frost;  1886-7,  Hubert  S.  Wattles;  1888-9,  J^^li^is  M.  Hill;  1890-3,  David 
B.  Beers;  1894-1906.  Hubert  S.  Wattles;  1907,  Peoria  L  Whitted;  1907-10, 
Carl  D.  Forsbeck.     The  office  was  discontinued  in  1910. 

County  engineer,  Carl  D.  Forsbeck,  19 10  to  date. 


1862,  Albert  L  Brainard;  1885,  James  Holliday ;  1886-7,  W.  D.  Black- 
wood; 1880-9,  Daniel  G.  Lass;  1890-1,  Albert  L.  Brooks;  1892,  John  H. 
Rippey;  1893,  Christian  Eger;  1894-9,  William  R.  Koob;  1900-2,  A.  R. 
Herseman;  1903-4.  Charles  W.  Baker;  1905-8,  Nels  C.  Jensen;  1909-14, 
Arthur  C.  Harmon;  1915,  John  C.  Newlon. 


Charles  Van  Gorder,  Har])er  W.  \\'ilson    and  William  H.  Bowman. 


1861,  Julius  M.  Hubbard;  1862,  Boynton  G.  Dodge;  1863,  Boynton  G. 
Dodge,  Julius  M.  Hubbard,  Carlos  E.  Frost;  1864,  Boynton  G.  Dodge, 
Joshua  A.  Pearl,  Nathaniel  Hamlin;  1865,  Albert  L  Brainard,  Joshua  A. 
Pearl,  Nathaniel  Hamlin;  1866,  Isaac  Y.  D.  Lewis,  Stillman  H.  Perry, 
Washington  Bartlett ;  1867,  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis,  Stillman  H.  Perry,  Washing- 
ton Bartlett;  1868.  Isaac  Thomas,  David  L.  Anderson,  Washington  Bartlett; 
1869,  Isaac  Thomas,  Jacob  Andrews,  Washington  Bartlett;  1870,  Isaac 
Thomas,  Jacob  Andrews  (resigned),  Joshua  A.  Pearl;  1871,  John  \\\  Dodge, 


William  H.  H.  Bowen,  John  T.  Jenkins;  1872,  John  W.  Dodge,  William  H. 
H.  Bowen,  John  Noon;   1873,  John  W.   Dodge,  Arthur  L.  Sanborn,  John 
Noon;   1874,  Isaac  Thomas,  Arthur  L.   Sanborn,  John  Noon;   1875,   Isaac 
Thomas,  Arthur  h.  Sanborn,  John  Noon ;  1876,  Isaac  Thomas,  S.  A.  Miller, 
John  Noon;  1877,  James  Davis,  S.  A.  Miller,  John  Noon;  1878,  James  Davis, 
S.  A.  Miller,  John  T.  Jenkins,  1879,  James  Davis,  Samuel  A.  Graham,  John 
T.  Jenkins;  1880,  William  E.  Hensley,  Samuel  A.  Graham,  John  T.  Jenkins; 
1881,    William    E.    Hensley,    Samuel    A.    Graham,    Benjamin    F.    Jenkins. 
Boynton  G.   Dodge  appointed   to  fill  vacancy;    1882,   William   E.   Hensley, 
Samuel    A.    Graham,    Benjamin    F.    Jenkins    (Jenkins    died    and    Isaac    P. 
Hallock   appointed    to    fill    vacancy )  ;    1883,    William    E.    Hensley,    Samuel 
A.    Graham,    Isaac    P.    Hallock;    1884,    William    E.    Hensley,    Samuel    A. 
Graham,    Thomas    J.    Essington ;    1885,    William    E.    Hensley,    Sparks    P. 
Baker,    Thomas    J.    Essington;    1886,    George    McCain,    Sparks    P.    Baker, 
Thomas  J.  Essington;  1887,  George  McCain,  Sparks  P.  Baker.  Jasper  Jen- 
sen (  McCain  resigned  and  Andrew  F.  Armstrong  appointed  to  fill  vacancy)  ; 
1888,  Andrew  F.  Armstrong,  Samuel  Minser,  Jasper  Jensen;  1889,  Andrew 
F.  Armstrong,  Samuel  Minser,  Jasper  Jensen;  1890,  Andrew  F.  Armstrong, 
Samuel   Minser,    Philip   Bickelhaupt;    1891,   Andrew   F.    Armstrong,    Oscar 
Hunt,  Philip  Bickelhaupt;  1892,  Peter  Mathisen,  Oscar  Hunt,  Philip  Bickel- 
haupt; 1893,  Peter  Mathisen,  Oscar  Hunt,  David  W.  Mathias;  1894,  Peter 
Mathisen,  Samuel  F.  Garmire,  Daniel  W.  Mathias;   1895,  Nels  P.  Hoegh, 
Samuel  F.  Garmire,  Daniel  W.  Mathias;  1896,  Nels  P.  Hoegh,  Samuel  F. 
Garmire,  William  D.   Stanley;   1897,   Nels  P.   Hoegh,   Samuel  F.   Garmire, 
William  D.  Stanley;  1898,  Nels  P.  Hoegh,  Samuel  F.  Garmire,  William  D 
Stanley;  1899,  Nels  P.  Hoegh,  Samuel  F.  Garmire,  Jerome  Shingledecker ; 
1900,  Nels  P.  Hoegh,  John  C.  Bonwell,  Jerome  Shingledecker;  1901,  Nels 
P.  Hoegh,  John  C.  Bonwell,  Jerome  Shingledecker;  1902,  Nels  P.  Hoegh, 
John  C.  Bonwell,  Jerome  Shingledecker;  1903,  Nels  P.  Hoegh,  John  C.  Bon- 
well, Jerome  Shingledecker;   1904,  Nathaniel  D.  Hamlin,  John  C.  Bonwell, 
Jerome  Shingledecker;  1905.  Nathaniel  D.  Hamlin,  John  C.  Bonwell,  Fred 
D.  Searles ;  1906,  Nathaniel  D.  Hamlin,  John  C.  Bonwell,  Fred  D.  Searles; 
1907,  Martin  N.  Esbeck,  George  M.  Ross,  Fred  D.  Searles;  1908,  Martin  N. 
Esbeck,  George  M.  Ross,  Fred  D.  Searles;  1909,  Martin  N.  Esbeck,  George 
M.  Ross,  Fred  D.  Searles;  1910,  Samuel  McGaffin,  George  M.   Ross,  Fred 
D.   Searles;   191 1,   Samuel  McGaffin,  George  M.   Ross,  Edwin  F.  Johnson; 
1912,  Samuel  McGaffin,  Daniel  D.  Sampson,  Edwin  F.  Johnson;  1913,  Riley 
P.   Clark,   Daniel  D.    Sampson.   Edwin  F.   Johnson;    1914,   Riley   P.   Clark, 
Daniel  D.   Sampson,  Edwin  F.   Johnson;    1915,   Riley  P.   Clark,   Edwin  F. 
Johnson,  J.  Black. 




There  was  very  little  evidence  that  white  men  had  visited  this  vicinity 
before  Hamlin  and  Jenkins  settled  here  in  the  year  185 1.  Possibly,  hunters 
and  trappers  had  been  here;  it  would  have  been  remarkable  if  they  had  not, 
but,  if  so,  they  left  little  evidence  of  it. 

When  the  Mormons  abandoned  Nauvoo,  Illinois,  many  of  them  crossed 
Iowa  to  Kanesville,  now  Council  Bluffs,  in  the  year  1846.  Some  of  them 
settled  at  Indian  Town  and  Ironiston,  west  of  Lewis,  and  also  farther  north 
in  Shelby  and  Harrison  counties.  There  is  still  an  early  Mormon  settle- 
ment at  Galland's  Grove,  in  the  northwest  part  of  Shelby  county. 

One  of  the  Mormon  trails  crossed  Troublesome  creek  where  Nathaniel 
Hamlin  settled,  which,  undoubtedly,  was  the  cause  that  led  to  the  selection 
of  his  claim  there.  Another  Mormon  trail  crossed  this  county  near  the  site 
of  the  present  poor  farm.  It  is  supposed  that  the  Mormons  dropped  the 
seed  there  which  gave  the  name  to  Blue  Grass  Grove  and  to  the  creek  of  the 
same  name.  Still  another  Mormon  trail  crossed  the  county  through  the 
north  parts  of  Viola,  Cameron  and  Lincoln  townships.  The  last  two  named 
trails  would  have  been  on  the  direct  route  from  Nauvoo  to  Galland's  Grove 
and  vicinity,  where  the  Mormon's  settled.  None  of  them  settled  in  this 
county,  except  John  S.  Johnston,  who  came  here  in  1855  and  who  had  been 
a  Mormon.  The  purpose  of  the  Mormons  was  to  continue  their  exodus 
beyond  the  Missouri  river.  After  going  on  to  Utah,  many  of  them  became 
disgusted  with  polygamy  and  returned  to  Shelby  county  and  vicinity.  While 
enumerating  the  United  States  census  in  1870,  the  writer  found  one  of  them 
in  Shelby  county  named  Joseph  Hancock,  then  seventy  years  of  age,  who 
claimed  to  be  a  grandson  of  John  Hancock,  the  patriot  governor  of  Massa- 

The  United  States  government  surveyors  had  been  here  and  sur- 
veyed the  lines  of  township  78,  in  the  year  1849.  Possibly  Hamlin  and 
Jenkins  had  found  some  of  the  posts  of  that  survey  and  the  first  settlers 


may  have  selected  their  claims  from  that  survey.  It  is  certain  that  HamHn, 
Jenkins,  Decker,  Powell,  Mrs.  Hoggard  and  Doctor  Ballard  selected  their 
claims  nearly  conformable  to  the  section  lines  as  afterwards  surveyed. 


Early  in  1851,  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  James  Hamlin,  William  Powell,. 
David  Edgerton  and  Samuel  Ogden  went  from  Mahaska  county  to  Kanes- 
ville,  now  Council  Bluffs,  Iowa,  then  a  new  Mormon  settlement.  Nathaniel 
Hamlin  then  lived  in  the  extreme  northwest  part  of  Mahaska  county.  It  is 
supposed  their  route  was  through  Marion,  Warren,  Madison,  Adair,  Cass 
and  Pottawattamie  counties.  They  were  in  quest  of  new  homes,  and,  after 
reaching  Kanesville,  they  traveled  up  the  east  side  of  the  Missouri  river,  but, 
not  finding  desirable  locations,  decided  to  return.  In  their  exodus  from 
Nauvoo,  Illinois,  to  western  Iowa,  the  Mormons  had  made  what  were  called 
Mormon  trails.  One  of  those  trails  was  taken  on  their  return  from  Kanes- 
ville and  was  followed  back  to  the  Nishna  Botna  river  near  Lewis,  Iowa, 
thence  up  the  river  and  up  Troublesome  creeek,  where  they  made  a  crossing. 
The  water  was  high  and  they  first  crossed  the  creek,  one  at  a  time,  in  a  feed 
box  taken  from  off  the  wagon,  and  camped  where  Nathaniel  afterward  settled. 
It  was  in  the  month  of  March,  185 1.  Possibly  the}^  had  learned  from  the 
Mormons  of  the  fine,  valuable  groves  of  timber  in  this  vicinity,  and  they 
may  have  discovered  some  of  the  government  surveyor's  work  on  the  new 
township  lines,  which  induced  them  to  afterwards  settle  here ;  but  they  do 
not  appear  to  have  then  discovered  the  "Big  Grove"  on  the  Nishna  Botna, 

The  locality  pleased  Nathaniel  Hamlin  and  he  staked  off  a  claim  adja- 
cent to  the  Mormon  trail,  where  he  decided  to  make  his  future  home.  This 
was  the  initial  act  of  the  first  settlement  of  the  county.  At  that  time  there 
was  not  a  white  settler  within  twenty  miles  of  the  spot  selected  by  Mr.  Ham- 
lin. The  party  returned  to  Mahaska  county,  and  Mr.  Hamlin  made  prepara- 
tions for  his  removal  to  his  claim.  Taking-  his  eldest  child,  Marv--,  ten  years 
of  age,  leaving  the  remainder  of  the  family  behind,  they,  with  seven  yoke  of 
work  oxen,  wagon,  implements  and  tools  for  labor  and  provisions,  started 
for  his  distant  claim  amongst  the  wild  animals  and  wilder  men.  He  was 
accompanied  by  his  brother,  William  P.  Hamlin,  and  Philip  Arthur  Decker, 
without  their  families,  and  by  the  brother-in-law  and  sister-in-law  of  Decker, 
John  and  Betsey  Ann  Hoggard,  young  unmarried  people.  When  they  reached 
Winterset,  Iowa,  they  met  and  made  the  acquaintance  of  John  S.  Jenkins  and 
family,  composed  of  his  wife,  Malinda,  and  children,  Benjamin,  John,  Sarah, 


Isaac,  Harriet  and  George,  who  were  traveling  westward  in  search  of  a  new 
home.  Mr.  HamHn  told  Jenkins  about  this  place,  its  beautiful,  fertile  soil, 
and  noble  groves  of  timber,  and  invited  him  to  come  and  view  it  himself. 
Mr.  Jenkins  decided  to  do  so.  On  May  6  the  little  colony,  with  stout  hearts, 
willing  hands  and  a  hopeful  future,  reached  the  claim  of  Mr.  Hamlin  and 
the  first  permanent  settlement  of  Audubon  county  was  an  accomplished  fact. 

Isaac  Jenkins  once  told  the  writer  that  he  was  then  a  small  lad  (about 
eight  years  old)  and  that  the  next  morning  after  their  arrival,  "Uncle  Natty" 
commenced  cutting  logs  for  his  cabin,  and  that  he,  Isaac,  hauled  them  together 
with  his  father's  yoke  of  stags,  called  "Buck"  and  "Brandy."  x\fter  erect- 
ing his  log  cabin,  with  Mary  to  drive  the  team,  Mr.  Hamlin  broke  out  forty 
acres  of  prairie  land,  which  he  planted  in  sod  corn,  and  amongst  which 
he  sowed  seven  acres  of  buckwheat  and  planted  some  potatoes  and  turnips. 
The  land  was  not  then  surveyed,  but  Mr.  Hamlin's  claim  afterward  proved  to 
be  situated  in  section  35,  in  what  is  now  Exira  township,  a  selection  of  first- 
class  prairie  and  timber  land.     To  this  he  afterward  added  many  other  acres. 

We  are  indebted  to  John  T.  Jenkins,  Esq.,  of  Brayton,  the  only  survivor 
of  the  Jenkins  family,  for  some  facts  concerning  the  first  settlement.  He 
says  that  when  they  arrived  at  Hamlin's  claim.  Troublesome  creek  was  over- 
flowing its  banks.  The  next  morning  his  father  felled  and  lodged  a  tree 
against  another  tree  on  the  opposite  bank  and  "crooned  over"  on  the  fallen 
tree.  His  horse  was  led  with  a  long  rope  and  swam  the  river.  Then  he 
mounted  his  horse  and  rode  over  to  where  the  town  of  Oakfield  is  now  situ- 
ated and  selected  a  claim  for  his  home  at  the  "big  spring"  in  the  timber,  in 
section  20,  now  in  Exira  township.  To  mark  the  site  of  his  claim,  he  blazed 
a  basswood  tree  and  wrote  on  it:     "This  is  my  claim." 

Mr.  Decker  selected  a  claim  in  section  17,  now  in  Exira  township,  where 
Boy  Herrick  now  resides.  The  Hoggards  settled  in  section  26,  where  Isaac 
Lewis  afterward  resided  many  years.  William  P.  Hamlin  immediately  set- 
tled in  section  6,  in  what  is  now  Benton  township,  Cass  county,  at  the  same 
place  afterward  occupied  many  years  by  Almond  Goodale.  Later,  Mr.  Ham- 
lin settled  on  Buck  creek,  in  Cass  county,  afterward  known  as  the  Barney 
Harris  place.  In  i860  he  moved  to  Exira,  where  he  lived  many  years.  W^ill- 
iam  Powell  came  the  same  year  and  settled  in  section  3,  where  Ad.  Seibert 
now  lives. 

An  important  addition  to  the  new  settlement,  the  same  year,  w^as  Dr. 
Samuel  M.  Ballard,  a  wealthy  man  for  that  period,  and  a  physician. -then 
residing  at  Iowa  City.  I  was  often  entertained  years  ago  by  his  graphic 
recitals  of  earlv  times  and  events  in  this  countv.     He  was  a  rare  storv  teller. 


One  event  in  connection  with  the  early  settlement  is  particularly  apropos — • 
his  first  meeting  with  "Uncle"  John  Jenkins.  The  doctor  said  that  he  had 
heard  of  the  fine  land  and  timber  on  the  Botna  river  in  this  county  and  decided 
to  examine  it  personally.  He  had  also  heard  of  the  settlement  here  of  Mr. 
Jenkins,  and,  securing  direction  as  to  his  place  of  abode,  started  afoot  and 
alone  from  Lewis  to  find  the  place.  After  traveling  many  miles,  he  reached 
the  foot  of  the  hill  south  of  the  present  town  of  Oakfield  and  supposed  he 
was  near  the  place  sought,  and  there  discovered  a  new  path  leading  north 
into  the  timber.  Soon  he  saw  some  white  children,  who  fled  at  his  approach. 
Continuing  his  way,  he  soon  met  a  man  with  a  rifle,  who  demanded  of  him : 
"Are  you  for  peace,  or  are  you  for  war?"  "I  replied,"  said  the  doctor,  "  'I 
feel  very  peaceful  at  this  time,  and  I  have  been  traveling  since  morning  and 
am  getting  hungry.  I  am  wanting  to  find  a  man  named  Jenkins,  who  I  sup- 
pose lives  somewhere  in  this  vicinity.'  "  The  doctor  introduced  himself,  and 
Mr.  Jenkins  invited  him  to  his  cabin  and  provided  refreshments.  Then  the 
doctor  explained  the  object  of  his  visit;  that  he  was  seeking  a  tract  of  prairie 
and  timber  land  for  himself,  and  that  what  he  had  seen  suited  him  if  he  could 
secure  it.  ]\Ir.  Jenkins  informed  him  that  the  rules  of  the  Settlers'  Club 
provided  that  no  individual  could  take  a  claim  for  more  than  one  hundred 
and  sixty  acres  of  land.  But  the  doctor  expressed  a  desire  to  obtain  a  greater 
amount.  At  that  period  the  government  land  was  not  in  market  and  had  not 
been  surveyed.  The  settlers  were  clubbed  together  to  make  rules  and  regula- 
tions regarding  individual  claims  and  for  mutually  protecting  them.  The 
doctor  suggested  the  advisability  of  having  a  physician  in  the  settlement,  also 
the  propriety  of  having  a  man  possessed  of  wealth  among  them  to  assist  in 
developing  the  country,  etc.  And  he  told  the  story  of  a  once  famous  doctor, 
who,  on  sending  his  pupil  out  to  practice  medicine  on  his  own  account,  gave 
this  advice:  "If  you  shall  ever  discover  in  your  practice  that  you  can  do 
the  patient  no  good,  be  sure  that  you  do  no  harm."  The  story  is  too  long 
and  too  awfully  funny  to  relate  here.  But  the  doctor  averred  that  if  he  did 
settle  here  he  would  endeavor  to  do  the  people  no  harm.  The  subject  was 
discussed  among  the  few  settlers,  who  consented  to  make  an  exception  in  the 
case  of  Doctor  Ballard  and  to  allow  him  to  select  his  claim  as  proposed,  and 
to  protect  him  in  it.  The  result  was  that  he  secured  the  beautiful  tracts  of 
prairie  and  timber  lands  since  known  as  the  Ballard  estate  in  Exira  and  Oak- 
field  townships  and  adjoining  in  Cass  county. 

John  M.  Donnel  came  in  185 1,  or  soon  after,  and  lived  in  the  vicinity 
of  Hamlin's  Grove  many  years.  He  drove  the  mail  hack  in  early  days  from 
the  east  to  Hamlin's  Grove. 


After  Mr.  Hamlin  had  finished  his  breaking  and  put  in  his  crops,  he 
returned  to  Mahaska  county,  closed  out  his  business  there  and  returned  with 
his  family,  consisting  of  his  wife,  Margaret  (Aunt  Peggy),  and  children, 
Mary,  Hannah,  Rose,  Melinda  and  W.  Allan.  They  arrived  here  on  Septem- 
ber 13,  185 1.  With  them  came  the  widow  Hoggard,  the  mother  of  John  and 
Betsey  Ann,  and  the  wife  of  Philip  Arthur  Decker.  Probably  John  Hog- 
gard and  Decker  went  back  to  Mahaska  county  for  their  people  with  Mr. 
Hamlin.  Benjamin  and  Isaac  Jenkins  went  back  with  an  ox  team  at  or 
about  the  same  time,  to  move  the  family  of  William  P.  Hamlin  to  Cass 

There  has  been  contention  as  to  who  was  the  first  settler,  Nathaniel 
Hamlin  or  John  S.  Jenkins.  The  honors  are  easy.  Hamlin  was  here  and 
made  his  claim  in  March,  1851,  and  followed  it  by  actual  settlement  on  May 
6,  185 1.  He  built  the  first  cabin  and  broke  out  his  land  the  same  season  and 
his  family  came  on  September  13,  1852.  Jenkins  came  May  6,  1851,  and 
decided  to  settle  and  made  his  claim  not  earlier  than  May  7.  His  family 
came  with  him,  so  they  were  actually  the  first  family  settled  in  the  county. 
Hamlin  himself  must  be  held  to  be  the  first  actual  settler  here. 


The  following  is  the  list  of  settlers  who  came  to  Audubon  county  before 
1861,  with  places  of  residence  and  dates  of  settlement:  David  L.  Anderson 
and  family,  Exira,  1855;  William  S.  Anderson,  Exira,  1855;  Lysanius  M. 
Anderson,  Exira,  1855;  John  A.  Anderson,  Exira,  1855;  Samuel  Anderson, 
Exira,  1855;  Adelbert  Anderson,  Exira,  1855;  Norman  Archer  and  family, 
Oaklield,  1855;  W.  Herbert  Archer,  Oakfield,  1855;  Thomas  Archer,  Oak- 
field,  1855;  Alonzo  N.  Arnold  and  wife,  Oakfield,  1855;  Rev.  Baker  and 
family,  Dayton,  1855;  Dr.  Samuel  M.  Ballard,  Oakfield,  1851;  Osceola  R. 
Ballard,  Oakfield,  1852;  Byron  Ballard,  Oakfield,  1852;  William  F.  Ballard 
and  family,  Oakfield,  1855;  Darius  Barlow  and  wife,  Exira,  1857;  Peter  B. 

Barlow,  Oakfield, ;  Washington  Bartlett,  Oakfield,   1856;  Lee  L.  Bart- 

lett,  Oakfield,  1857;  Hiram  M.  Beck  and  family,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1856;  Will- 
iam P.  Beck,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1856;  Miles  Beers  and  family,  Oakfield,  1854; 
John  W.  Beers,  Oakfield,  1854;  David  B.  Beers,  Oakfield,  1854;  Bradley 
Beers  and  family,  Oakfield,  1857;  Avery  Belcher,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1857; 
James  W.  Benedict  and  family,  Dayton,  1855;  Elijah  Birge  and  family. 
Troublesome,  1856;  James  M.  Blackmar  and  family,  Exira,  1857;  William 
H.  H.  Bowen  and   family,  Hamlin's  Grove,   1853;  John  Bowen,  Hamlin's 


Grove,  1853;  Hugh  L.  Bowen,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1853;  Erasmus  D.  Bradley 
and  family,   Oakfield,    1855;  Albert  I.   Brainard  and   family,  Exira,    i860; 
J.  C.  Brown,  Hamlin's  Grove,  i860;  James  M.  Brown  and  family,  Oakfield, 
1856;  Franklin  Biirnham  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1856;  Silas  D.  Burns,  Oak- 
field, i860;  John  D.  Bush,  Exira,  1856;  Deacon  Lyman  Bush,  Exira,  1857; 
Mrs.  Mary  Bush  (wife),  Exira,  1858;  William  S.  Bush  and  family,  Exira, 
1858;  Mrs.  Maria  D.  Butler,  Oakfield,  i860;  John  Calder,  Hamlin's  Grove, 
1854;  George  Calder,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  Stephen  T.  Campbell  and  fam- 
ily,  Oakfield,  about    1855-56;  George  W.   Cannon,   Hamlin's  Grove,    1855; 
Reuben  Carpenter  and   family,  Hamlin's  Grove,    1852;  William  Carpenter, 
Hamhn's  Grove,  1852;  Elijah  Carpenter,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1852;  George  Car- 
penter, Hamlin's  Grove,  1852;  John  Carpenter,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1852;  Henry 
Carpenter,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1852;  David  A.  Carpenter,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1852; 
W.  S.  Carter,  Big  Grove,  1855;  Charles  L.  Chapin  and  family,  Big  Grove, 
1856;  John  Countryman  and  family.  Troublesome,  1852;  Daniel  Crane  and 
family,  Exira,   1855;  John  Crane,  Exira,    1855;  VanBeuren  Crane,   Exira, 
1855;  John  W.  Davis,  Exira,   i860;  Robert  N.  Day  and  family,  Oakfield, 
1857;  Stephen  Deborde,  David's  Creek,  before  1856;  Philip  A.  Decker  and 
family.  Big  Grove,  185 1  ;  Boynton  G.  Dodge  and  family,  Exira,  1856;  John 
W.  Dodge,  Exira,   1856;  James  B.  Donnel,  Hamlin's  Grove,    1854;  James 
H.  Donnel,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  John  M.  Donnel,  Hamlin's  Grove,  185 1; 
Henry  T.   Eagan,   Hamlin's  Grove,    1855;  James  Eagan,   Hamlin's   Grove, 
1855;  Samuel  Eagan,  Hamlin's  Grove,   1855;  Leonard  Earley  and  family, 
Exira,  1859;  Joseph  Eaton,  Big  Grove,  1856;  Alfred  Eddy,  Big  Grove,  1856; 
David  Edgerton  and  family,  Exira,  1852;  Zel  Edgerton,  Exira,  1857;  Will- 
iam B.  Felch  and  family,  Exira,  after  1856;  J.  Lyman  Frost,  Hamlin's  Grove, 
1853;  Carlos  E.  Frost  and  family,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1853;  Mr.  Gage,  Exira, 
1853;  Richard  Gault,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  Dawson  Glasgow  and  family, 
Hamlin's  Grove,  1856;  Edward  Gingery,  Oakfield,  1855;  A.  M.  Graves,  Oak- 
field, about  1856;  Howard  J.  Green  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1855;  Isaac  P. 
Hallock,   Sr.,  and  family,  Oakfield,   1856;  Richard  S.  Hallock  and  family, 
Oakfield,  1856;  John  A.  Hallock,  Oakfield,  1856;  Isaac  P.  Hallock,  Jr.,  Oak- 
field, 1856;  Nathaniel  Hamlin  and  family,  Hamlin's  Grove,  185 1 ;  William  P. 
Hamlin  and  family,  Exira,   i860;  John  Hammer,  Exira,   i860;  Andrew  M. 
Hardy  and  family.  Big  Grove,   1859;  George  W.  Hardy,  Big  Grove,   1859; 
Daniel  M.   Harris  and   family,  Hamlin's  Grove,    1854;  William  J.   Harris, 
Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  Daniel  W.  Harris,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  Asa  Has- 
kins,  Exira,  1857;  Amherst  Heath  and  family,  Oakfield,  1857;  Hiram  Heath 
and  family,  Oakfield,  1857;  Mark  Heath  and  family,  Oakfield,  1852;  Milton 


Heath  and  family,  Oakfield,  1852;  Hiram  Heath  2d,  Oakfield,  1852;  Alvin 
Herrick  and  family,  Big  Grove,  1853 ;  Urbane  Herrick  and  family,  Big  Grove, 
1853;  Edson  Herrick,  Big  Grove,  1854;  Augustus  C.  Herrick,  Big 
Grove,  1854;  Coit  Herrick,  Big  Grove,  1854;  Curtis  Herrick,  Big  Grove,  1854; 
Elisha  D.  Herrick,  Big  Grove,  1854;  Emerson  Herrick,  Big  Grove,  1854;  Jud- 
son  D.  Herrick,  Big  Grove.  1854;  Benjamin  M.  Hyatt  and  family,  Oakfield, 
1852;  William  H.  Hyatt,  Oakfield,  1852;  Alexander  High,  Oakfield,  about 
1855;  Franklin  Hobbs,  Exira.  1855;  Mercy  Hobbs  (wife),  Exira,  1856; 
Moses  Hockman,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1855;  Samuel  Hockman,  Hamlin's  Grove, 
1855;  Mrs.  Hoggard,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1851  ;  Betsey  A.  Hoggard,  Hamlin's 
Grove,  1851;  John  Hoggard,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1851;  William  Holcraft, 
Troublesome,  1855;  Samuel  B.  Hopkins  and  family,  Oakfield,  1853;  A.  B. 
Houston  and  family,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1856;  Henry  B.  Houston,  Hamlin's 
Grove,  1856;  Oswold  J.  Houston,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1856;  Samuel  Howlett  and 
family,  Oakfield,  i860;  James  Howlett  and  family.  Oakfield,  i860;  Samuel 
Howlett,  Jr..  Oakfield,  i860;  Samuel  Howlett,  3d,  Oakfield,  i860;  Lambert 
Howlett,  Oakfield,  i860;  Julius  M.  Hubbard  and  family,  Oakfield,  1857;  Lud- 
wig  Hummel  and  wife.  Troublesome,  before  1857;  Walter  J.  Jardine  and 
family.  Big  Grove,  1853;  Lyman  Jardine,  Big  Grove,  1853;  John  S.  Jenkins 
and  family.  Oakfield,  1851 ;  Benjamin  F.  Jenkins,  Oakfield,  1851 ;  John  T.  Jen- 
kins, Oakfield,  1851;  Isaac  H.  Jenkins,  Oakfield,  1851;  George  Jenkins, 
Oakfield,  185 1;  Samuel  Johnson,  Exira,  1856;  John  S.  Johnston  and  fam- 
ily. Big  Grove,  1855;  Giles  N.  Jones  and  family,  Oakfield,  1856;  James  M. 
Jones  and  family,  Oakfield,  1856;  Orlin  E.  Jones,  Oakfield,  1856;  George  L. 
Kellogg,  Big  Grove,  1856;  Charles  Kemp,  Big  Grove,  1856;  Reuben  C.  Ken- 
yon,  Exira,  1855;  Alexander  Kincaid  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1855;  James 
Kincaid  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1855;  Henry  K.  Kincaid,  Big  Grove,  1855; 
Joseph  S.  Kirk  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1855;  Andrew  J.  Lefifingwell  and 
family,  Big  Grove,  i860;  Horace  F.  Leffingwell  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1856; 
William  Leffingwell,  Big  Grove,  1856;  Mrs.  Sarah  G.  Lewis,  Hamlin's  Grove, 
1854;  Richard  M.  Lewis  and  family,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  Thomas  S. 
Lewis  and  family,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis  and  family, 
Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  Charles  E.  Marsh,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1855;  Walter 
Marsh,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1855;  John  McConnell,  Big  Grove,  1856;  Allen 
McDonnel,  Troublesome,  1855;  Rev.  Richard  C.  Meek  and  wife.  Big  Grove, 
1855;  Bryant  Milliman  and  wife,  Exira,  1854;  Levi  B.  Montgomery  and  fam- 
ily, Exira,  1856;  William  N.  Montgomery,  1856;  George  S.  Montgomery, 
Exira,  1856;  John  W.  Montgomery,  Exira,  1856;  Joel  B.  Montgomery, 
Exira,   1856;  Eli  Montgomery,  Exira,    1856;  Levi  J.   Montgomery,   Exira, 


1856;  James  Mounts,  Big  Grove,  1855;  Henry  S.  Myers,  Big  Grove, 
about  1859;  William  N.  Nelson,  Exira,  1856;  Mrs.  Margaret  Nelson, 
Exira,  1857;  William  C.  Norton  and  family,  Oakfield,  1856;  John  C. 
Norton,  Oaktield,  1856;  Charles  H.  Norton,  Oakfield,  1856;  Robert  A. 
Oliphant,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1854;  Ozro  Othout,  Oakfield,  1856;  William 
Pangburn,  Exira,  1859;  Dennis  Parmeley  and  family,  Troublesome, 
1854;  Richard  E.  Parmeley,  Troublesome,  1854;  Lemuel  Parmeley, 
Troublesome,  1854;  John  Patterson  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1856;  James 
Patterson,  Big  Grove,  1856;  Elam  W.  Pearl,  Oakfield,  1857;  Joshua  A. 
Pearl,  Oakfield,  1857;  Hiram  Perkins,  Exira,  1855;  Stillman  H.  Perry  and 
family,  Exira,  1859;  Zelotes  A.  Phelpes,  Troublesome,  about  1856;  James 
B.  Pixler,  Audubon  township,  1859;  James  Poor,  Hamlin's  Grove,  1857; 
Joseph  Porter  and  family,  Oakfield,  after  1856;  William  Powell  and  fam- 
ily, Exira,  185 1;  W.  Scott  Rice,  Oakfield,  i860;  Robert  Robinson  and  fam- 
ily, Exira,  1859;  William  Robinson,  Exira,  1859;  James  Robinson,  Exira, 
1859;  John  Robinson,  Exira,  1859;  Hamilton  Robinson,  Exira,  1859;  Lewis 
Robinson,  Exira,  1859;  Palmer  Rogers  and  family,  Exira,  1856;  Thomas 
T.  Rogers  and  family,  Oakfield,  1857;  Meridith  Rowland,  Big  Grove,  1857; 
Thomas  A.  Rowland,  Oakfi.eld,  1856;  Michael  Scharff,  Hamlin's  Grove, 
1855;  John  Seiford  and  family,  Big  Grove,  1853;  Harry  D.  Shelley,  Oak- 
field, i860;  William  Shirley,  Big  Grove,  1854;  Reverend  Spooner,  Big 
Grove,  i860;  Brad.  Spurling,  Exira,  1853;  George  W.  Sharp  and  family, 
Exira,  1856;  Samuel  Smith  and  family,  Oakfield,  1854;  William  F.  Smith, 
Oakfield,  1854;  James  S.  Smith,  Oakfield,  1854;  John  E.  Smith,  Oakfield, 
1854;  Samuel  Smith,  Jr.,  Oakfield,  1854;  Samuel  Smith,  David's  Creek,  1856; 
Hendrick  R.  Smith,  David's  Creek,  1856;  William  E.  E.  Smith,  David's 
Creek,  1856;  Andrew  Smith,  David's  Creek,  1856;  Oliver  Smith,  Trouble- 
some,   1858-9;   Robert   Stansberry   and   family,   Big   Grove,    1854;   William 

B.  Stone,  Big  Grove,  1853;  Colbert  Strahl  and  family,  Oakfield,  1855; 
Barzilla  Sylvester,  Exira,  1856;  George  W.  Taylor  and  family.  Big  Grove, 
1855;  John  R.  Thacker  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1856;  Isaac  Thomas,  Ham- 
lin's Grove,  i860;  William  Thompson  and  family,  Exira,  1856;  Thomas 
Truman,  Exira,  1858-9;  Charles  Van  Gorder,  Exira,  i860;  John  J.  Van 
Houghton,  Hamlin's  Grove,  i860;  Asahel  Wakeman,  i860;  Wilham 
Walker,    Troublesome,     1855;     Chauncey    E.     Ward,     Big    Grove,     1856; 

C.  Dwight  West,  Big  Grove,  1854;  Peoria  L  Whitted,  Hamlin's  Grove, 
1853  .•  William  Wiggins  and  family.  Big  Grove,  1855;  Nathaniel  Wiggins 
and  family,  Big  Grove,  1855;  Charles  Wiggins,  Big  Grove,  about  i860; 
Whitman  Wilcox  and   family,   Hamlin's  Grove,  after   1856;  John  Wilcox, 


Hamlin's  Grove,  after  1856;  Mr.  Wilkins,  ,  ;  Mr.  Wilkin- 
son,   ,  1853;  Joseph  J.  Williams  and  family,  Brushy,  1859;  George 

Wire,  ,  1855;  George  Wise  and  family,  Oakfield,   1855. 

In  some  instances  in  the  foregoing  list,  the  dates  of  settlement  are 
given  as  before  the  respective  towns  were  actually  laid  out  and  platted.  In 
such  instances,  the  intention  is  to  say  that  the  parties  settled  at  or  near  where 
these  towns  were  afterward  located,  respectively. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  old  settlers  who  came  before  1861  and  now 
reside  here,  with  places  of  residence  and  dates  of  settlement:  Lysanius  M. 
Anderson,  Audubon,  1855;  Mrs.  Nettie  Bartlett,  Hamlin  township,  1855; 
David  B.  Beers,  Brayton,  1854;  Frank  Beers,  Greely  township,  1857;  ^^s. 
Mary  I.  Crane,  Exira,  1854;  Arthur  Dodge,  Hamlin  township,  1855;  Mrs. 
Catherine  L.  Gearheart,  Brayton,  1857;  Mrs.  Hannah  M.  Hawk,  Exira, 
1851;  Hiram  Heath,  Exira,  1852;  Lewis  C.  Heath,  Brayton,  1857;  Judson 
D.  Herrick,  Exira,  1854;  Mrs.  Mary  B.  Hicks,  Exira,  1856;  John  T.  Jenkins, 
Brayton,  1851 ;  Mrs.  Darthula  Jenkins,  Brayton,  1857;  Irving  Jones,  Exira 
township,  1856;  George  Leffingwell,  West  Exira,  i860;  Elbert  M.  Lewis, 
Exira  township,  185  ;  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis,  Exira  township,  1854;  Mrs.  Jane 
Milliman,  Exira,  1854;  William  H.  Milhman,  Exira,  1855;  Mrs.  MaHnda 
C.  Radcliff,  Exira  township,  185 1;  Horatio  W.  Rogers,  Exira  township, 
1857;  Hendrick  R.  Smith,  Exira,  1856;  Mrs.  Ella  M.  Temple,  Exira  town- 
ship, 185  ;  Charles  Van  Gorder,  Audubon,  i860;  C.  Dwight  West,  Hamlin 
township,  1854;  Mrs.  Louisa  C.  Whitted,  Exira,  1856. 


The  "homestead"'  excitement  of  1870  to  1880  was  an  era  which  brought 
many  new  people  to  Audubon  county,  who  would  not  otherwise  have  settled 
here.  The  facts  were  substantially  these :  The  title  to  the  lands  afterwards 
mebraced  in  Iowa,  was  vested  in  the  United  States  by  the  Louisiana  Pur- 
chase from  France  in  1803,  and  so  remained  when  Iowa  was  admitted  a 
state  in  1845,  except  a  few  small  grants,  notably  Dubuque,  etc.,  made  by 
Spain  before  the  Louisiana  Purchase. 

In  1856  Congress  granted  large  amounts  of  land  in  Iowa  to  aid  in  the 
construction  of  railroads.  One  of  those  grants  was  for  a  railroad  from 
Davenport  to  Council  Bluffs,  made  to  the  Mississippi  &  Missouri  Railroad 
Company.  It  gave  to  the  company  all  land  not  then  already  disposed  of, 
in  odd  numbered  sections  on  each  side  of  the  proposed  route  for  six  miles,  or 
not  to  exceed  fifteen  miles.  The  grant  was  in  the  nature  of  a  float,  the  title  not 


fully  vested,  but  conditioned  upon  future  acts  of  the  government,  and  of 
their  compliance  by  the  proposed  railroad  company.  The  principal  require- 
ments were  the  survey  of  the  proposed  route,  the  selection  of  their  lands, 
and  the  building  of  the  road.  The  survey  was  soon  made  by  Granville  M. 
Dodge,  of  Council  Bluffs,  who  is  still  living,  and  passed  through  the  town  of 
Exira.  It  was  called  the  Dodge  survey.  The  lands  were  promptly  selected 
in  conformity  with  the  survey.  Afterwards,  the  rights  of  the  Mississippi  & 
Missouri  Company  were  transferred  to  the  Chicago,  Rock  Island  &  Pacific 
Railroad  Company.  A  new  survey  was  made,  deflecting  south  from  the 
original  line,  the  new  line  running  from  what  is  now  the  town  of  Adair,  by 
way  of  what  is  now  Atlantic,  thence  on  to  Council  Bluffs.  The  new  line  was 
about  thirteen  miles  south  of  Exira.  A  new  and  additional  grant  of  land 
was  made  by  Congress  to  further  aid  in  construction  of  the  road,  giving  to 
the  company  all  lands  not  previously  disposed  of,  for  twenty  miles  on  each 
side  of  the  route. 

The  railroad  was  completed  through  to  Council  Bluffs  on  the  new  route 
in  1869,  and  the  lands  were  certified  by  the  government  to  the  company  in 
conformity  with  the  grants. 

It  was  disclosed  by  the  survey  and  selection  of  the  lands,  that  most  of 
the  government  lands  across  Iowa  along  the  route  of  the  proposed  road,  had 
already  been  disposed  of  at  the  time  the  grants  were  made.  The  bulk  of 
the  lands  actually  selected  for  the  company  were  found  to  be  located  in 
Audubon  and  Shelby  counties. 

About  1870,  a  lawyer,  named  Joseph  A.  Straight,  a  pleasant,  accom- 
plished gentleman,  located  at  Exira.  He  conceived  the  opinion  that  the 
Chicago,  Rock  -Island  &  Pacific  Railroad  Company  had  forfeited  its  right  to 
the  grants  in  question  in  so  far  as  they  related  to  lands  lying  more  than  twenty 
miles  from  the  line  of  the  road  as  actually  constructed.  His  opinion  was 
promulgated  and  caught  like  wildfire;  people  here  and  from  abroad  adopted 
and  acted  upon  it,  and  by  the  hundreds  rushed  to  secure  the  unoccupied 
railroad  lands  as  homesteads.  They  settled  and  built  upon  the  lands  and 
proceeded  to  improve  and  convert  them  into  farms  and  homes.  It  was 
the  prominent  theme  of  business  in  the  northern  portion  of  the  county  for 
several  years.  Actions  were  brought  against  the  so-called  "homesteaders" 
to  eject  them  from  the  lands.  George  W.  Capron  came  here  from  Illinois, 
bought  land  from  the  railroad  company,  partially  improved  and  built  a  house 
upon  it,  then  sold  the  house  which  was  removed,  and  returned  to  Illinois. 
Three  forty-acre  tracts  of  his  land  were  settled  on  by  William  Emery,  H.  P. 
Emery  and  Robert  Campbell,  respectively,  who  sought  to  hold  the  lands  as 


homesteads.  Here  was  a  dilemma.  Capron  did  not  desire  to  lose  his  prop- 
erty and  could  not  recover  his  purchase  money  from  the  railroad  company 
until  he  was  legally  ousted  from  the  land.  So  he  reluctantly  brought  actions 
in  1874  against  each  of  the  parties  to  eject  them  from  his  lands.  The  case 
of  George  W.  Capron  vs.  William  Emery  involved  the  title  to  the  south- 
west quarter  of  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  27,  township  80,  range  35, 
and  was  the  first  of  the  many  homestead  cases.  It  was  tried  by  a  jury, 
before  Hon.  T.  R.  Stockton,  circuit  judge,  and  decree  was  entered  for 
plaintiff,  October  i,  1874.  The  other  two  cases  were  decided  in  favor  of 
plaintiff.  H.  F.  Andrews  was  attorney  for  plaintiff,  assisted  by  Thomas  S. 
Wright  on  behalf  of  the  railroad  company.  Charles  D.  Gray  was  attorney 
for  defendants. 

The  contention  of  plaintiff'  in  these  cases  was  that  the  conditions  in  the 
grants  to  the  railroad  company,  which  had  not  been  actually  performed  by 
the  company,  had  been  waived  by  implication  by  the  government,  and  that 
the  title  to  the  lands  had  fully  vested  in  the  railroad  company  before  the 
attempted  homestead  entries. 

A  large  number  of  ejectment  suits  were  afterwards  maintained  against 
the  homesteaders  by  the  railroad  company.  None  of  the  homestead  claim- 
ants were  successful,  but  they  caused  a  world  of  trouble  and  unsettled  the 
title  to  the  railroad  lands  for  several  years.  A  large  number  of  claimants 
were  forcibly  ejected  and  removed  from  the  lands  by  the  sheriff,  who  set 
out  their  property  and  household  effects  into  the  public  highway.  Some  of 
the  claimants  yielded,  compromised  and  bought  their  lands  from  the  railroad 

Joseph  Tharnish  was  the  first  homestead  settler  on  Blue  Grass  creek 
about  1871.  His  claim  included  part  of  the  present  site  of  the  town  of 

These  affairs  engendered  much  bitterness  against  the  railroad  company; 
but,  on  the  whole,  the  contentions  were  conducted  with  decorum.  Happily, 
the  whole  of  that  unpleasantness  has_long  since  vanished. 


First  Settlers:  Xatbaniel  Hamlin,  May  6,  1851  ;  John  S.  Jenkins  and 
family,  May  6,  1851  ;  Philip  A.  Decker,  May  6,  185 1  ;  John  Hoggard,  May  6, 
1851 ;  Betsey  A.  Hoggard,  May  6,  1851. 

First  log  cabin,   Nathaniel  Hamlin,  May  7,    1851;  first  birth,  child  of 


Philip  A.  Decker,  December,  1851:  first  death,  Mrs.  PhiHp  A.  Decker, 
December.  185 1;  first  physician,  Samuel  M.  Ballard,  185 1;  first  saw-mill, 
John  Countryman,  1852-3;  first  frame  building,  John  Countryman,  1852-3; 
first  postmaster.  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  December  5,  1853;  first  lawyer,  Daniel 
M.  Harris,  1854;  first  school  house,  private,  Hamlin  &  Harris,  1854;  first 
school  teacher,  Ellen  Northgraves,  1854;  first  blacksmith.  Charles  Marsh, 
1855;  first  store.  Erasmus  D.  Bradley,  Oakfield,  1855;  first  election,  April  2, 
1855 ;  first  town  platted,  Dayton,  July  9,  1855  ;  first  term  of  court,  November, 
1855;  first  marriage,  George  L.  Kellogg  and  Susannah  Kenyon,  April  16. 
1856;  first  shoemaker,  John  S.  Johnston,  1856;  first  steam-mills,  Green, 
Chapin  &  Burnham  and  Samuel  M.  Ballard.  1856;  first  public 
school  house,  Hamlin's,  1856;  first  Fourth  of  July  celebration,  1856; 
first  brick-makers.  James  Poor.  Avery  Belcher,  Thomas  Stevens,  1857-8; 
first  county  fair,  1859;  first  newspaper,  Audubon  County  Pioneer,  J.  C. 
Brown  and  John  J.  A^an  Houghton,  i860;  first  hotel.  Palmer  Rogers,  Exira. 
1858;  first  harnessmaker,  David  E.  Soar,  Exira,  1866;  first  church  edifice, 
Exira,  1870;  first  brick  building,  H.  F.  Andrews,  Exira,  1873;  first  pool  hall, 
John  Hilton,  Exira,  1874-5;  first  Imnk,  Charles  Van  Gorder,  Exira,  1876; 
first  notary  public,  Alonzo  N.  Arnold,  Oakfield,  1855. 


George  L.  Kellogg  and  Susannah  Kenyon,  April  16,  1856;  William 
Carpenter  and  Martha  H.  Johnson,  June  22,  1856;  Barzilla  Sylvester  and 
Beulah  Thacker,  April  13,  1857;  William  Walker  and  Nancy  J.  Bowen, 
February  iS,  1858;  Charles  E.  Marsh  and  Elizabeth  Millholland,  November 
28,  1858;  Lee  L.  Bartlett  and  Sarah  B.  Jenkins,  1859;  John  C.  Morrison  and 
Margaret  L  Robinson,  December  15.  1859;  John  Crane  and  Mary  L  Harris,. 
December  24,  1859;  John  A.  Hallock  and  Katherine  Crane,  January  30, 
i860;  Peoria  I.  Whitted  and  Louisa  C.  Montgomery,  February  28,  i860; 
John  W.  Dodge  and  Eliza  Smith,  March  12,  i860;  William  Queery  and 
Sarah  E.  Firk,  March  13,  i860;  Isaac  Thomas  and  Mary  M.  Hamlin,  March 
14,  i860;  Thomas  A.  Rowland  and  Melvina  C.  Lewis,  March  16,  i860; 
Richard  Gault  and  Mary  L.  Herrick,  May  i,  i860;  George  H.  Calder  and 
Judith  A.  Howlett,  April  14,  1861  ;  Elam  W.  Pearl  and  Sarah  F.  Norton, 
April  23,  t86i  ;  Thomas  W.  Osborn  and  Lucy  Dungan,  May  5,  1861  ;  James 
B.  Root  and  Martha  L  Donnel,  October  19,  1861  ;  Luke  Imus  and  Caroline 
Parmley,  December  12,  1861 ;  Richard  F.  Parmeley  and  Mary  E.  Johnston, 


August  26,  1862;  Avery  Belcher  and  Thersa  Earley,  March  14,  1863;  OHver 
Smith  and  Emily  J.  Beers,  March  20,  1864;  Christian  J.  Wyland  and  Amanda 
H.  Dunington,  April  11,  1864;  James  A.  Poage  and  Priscilla  J.  Hopkins, 
July  28,  1864;  George  W.  Cannon  and  Harriet  Jenkins,  September  27,  1864; 
Samuel  Howlett  and  Mary  E.  Brown,  October  27,  1864;  W.  A.  Ellis  and 
Caroline  Earley,  January  9,  1865;  John  T.  Jenkins  and  Darthula  Rogers, 
January  19,  1865;  Chauncey  E.  Ward  and  Maria  A.  Bowdish,  February  i, 
1865;  Washington  M.  Harmison  and  Sarah  M.  Bailey,  March  7,  1865; 
Franklin  Salter  and  Mary  A.  Crane,  August  27,  1865 ;  Joseph  Dungan  and 
Alice  Carley,  October  8,  1865;  Jacob  Lawrence  and  Martha  Wilson,  Novem^ 
ber  28,  1865;  George  Lawrence  and  Mary  E.  Wilson,  November  28,  1865? 
William  Bice  and  Susan  Wilson,  December  6,  1865;  Robert  A.  Oliphant  and' 
Mrs.  Sarah  M.  Harmison,  January  i,  1866;  Abram  Van  Winkle  and  Harriet 
Schultz,  April  18,  1866;  Charles  H.  Norton  and  Charlotte  Howlett,  April 
29,  1866;  Charles  E.  Hawk  and  Hannah  M.  Hamlin,  May  20,  1866;  Xerxes 
Knox  and  Nancy  C.  Smith,  July  29,  1866;  Judson  D.  Herrick  and  Mrs. 
Louisa  Strickland,  November  8,  1866;  Jaynes  Robinson  and  Mary  Heuthern, 
December  30,  1866;  George  Gingery  and  Virginia  Goodale,  February  2, 
1867 ;  William  Radcliff  and  INIalinda  C.  Hamlin,  February  28,  1867;  Ayers 
D.  Martin  and  Sarah  L.  Whitney,  March  3,  1867;  George  W.  Bowdish  and 
Ellen  Clark,  April  28,  1867;  N.  C.  Maffitt  and  Josephine  Lewis,  June  3,  1867;. 
James  Luckenbill  and  Sarah  A.  Carpenter,  June  19,  1867;  J.  H.  Harrington 
and  Maggie  M.  Montgomery,  June  31,  1867;  Joel  H.  Basham  and  Melissa 
Hallock,  July  2,  1867;  A^incent  Bateham  and  Maria  Paige,  September  'j 
1867;  John  C.  Donnel  and  Hattie  M.  Donner,  September  28,  1867;  Edward 
Calph  and  Martha  J.  Hamlin,  November  17,  1867;  Henry  Decker  and  Mary 
Wilson,  December  25,  1867;  John  C.  Norton  and  Susie  M.  Ostrander,  Febru- 
ary I,  1868;  Isaac  H.  Jenkins  and  Clarissa  W.  Chase,  March  15,  1868; 
Henry  D.  Martin  and  Eliza  V.  Reynolds,  March  28,  1868;  Hugh  E.  McNutb 
and  Sarah  A.  Griffin,  March  28,  1868;  Joseph  Walker  and  Juliet  F.  Bowen, 
April  19,  1868;  Isaac  P.  Hallock  and  Malinda  A.  Norton,  May  10,  1868; 
Samuel  Smith  and  IMrs.  Louann  Bailey,  June  i,  1868;  Henry  T.  Egan  and 
Mary  A.  Reynolds,  July  6,  1868:  David  E.  Soar  and  Rebecca  N.  Harris,  July 
17,  1868;  Lysannius  M.  Anderson  and  Tryphenia  Hopkins,  November  12, 
1868;  Samuel  F.  Donnel  and  Mrs.  Tamzey  Flora,  November  15,  1868;  G.  R. 
Trowbridge  and  Elizabeth  J.  Hamlin,  November  19,  1868;  Adam  B.  Griffin, 
and  Sarah  A.  Wiggins,  November  26,  1868;  Daniel  Heald  and  Mary  J. 
\\'ood,  December  29,  1868. 



Exira,  Nathaniel  Hamlin  and  John  T.  S.  Jenkins,  1851;  Oakfield,  Dr. 
Samuel  M.  Ballard,  185 1;  Hamlin,  Hiram  Perkins,  1855;  Audubon,  Daniel 
M.  Harris,  1856;  Greeley,  Samuel  Smith,  1856;  Viola,  Joseph  J.  Williams, 
1859;  Leroy,  Darius  Barlow,  1863;  Cameron,  Robert  Gunn,  1868;  Douglas, 
Thomas  J.  Ellsberry,  1870;  Melville,  Benjamin  F.  Miller,  1869;  Lincoln, 
Isaac  K.  Johnson,  1871. 





The  ancestry  of  the  HamHn  family  beyond  a  certain  hmit  is  unknown. 
Nathaniel  Hamlin,  our  first  settler,  supposed  they  were  English,  which  is 
probably  true.  It  is  an  old  English  name,  as  early  as  the  Norman  conquest, 
1066.  Several  of  the  names  were  among  the  very  early  settlers  of  New 
England.  Monmouth  and  other  places  in  New-  Jersey  were  settled  by  colon- 
ists from  New^  England  before  1700.  The  discovery  of  Hamlins  in  New 
Jersey  at  that  period  suggests  their  emigration  from  New  England. 

A  man  named  Hamlin,  perhaps  John,  lived  in  Suffolk  county,  New- 
Jersey,  as  appears  from  the  records  of  birthplaces  of  his  children.  He  was 
twice  married  and  probably  died  in  New  Jersey.  His  children  l)y  his  first 
wife  were:  Nathaniel,  who  built  the  first  house  in  Columbus,  Ohio;  John, 
who  is  referred  to  in  the  following  paragraph;  Richard,  who  went  to  Ver- 
mont. By  a  second  wife,  there  were  two  children,  James,  who  settled  in 
Lewis  county,  Kentucky,  and  a  daughter. 

John  Hamlin,  son  of  John  (  ?)  above  named,  was  born  in  Huntington, 
New  Jersey,  July  2,  1759,  and  married  Mrs.  Rosannah  (Hayes)  Lard, 
widows  of  James  Lard.  By  a  former  husband  she  had  a  son.  James,  wdio 
was  adopted  by  Mr.  Hamlin.  They  moved  to  XVashington  county.  Penn- 
sylvania; thence  to  Delaware  county,  Ohio.  The  journey  was  by  flatboat 
down  the  Ohio  river.  Later  they  lived  at  the  Salt  Licks,  Lewis  county,- 
Kentucky.  He  was  a  Revolutionary  soldier  from  Sussex  county.  New  Jer- 
sey: Private  in  Captain  Hulick's  company  under  General  Dickensen,  one 
month,  1776;  private  in  Captain  Benjamin  McCullough's  company,  under 
General  Dickensen,  three  months,  1776-7;  private  in  Captain  Lock's  com- 
pany, under  General  Dickensen,  one  month.  1777;  private  in  Captain  Hiler's 
company,  one  month,  1777;  private  in  Captain  Ward's  company,  three 
months,  1777.  He  w-as  a  powerful  man  physically  and  a  noted  athlete  and 
fighter  in  his  day.  few  men  being  his  equals  in  personal  encounter.  He 
died  at  Columbus.  Ohio,  when  over  eighty  years  of  age.     His  children  were : 


James,  adopted,  married  Sally,  daughter  of  Reuben  Hamlin;  William  (see 
record  of  him  in  the  following  paragraph)  :  Eleanor,  married  her  cousm, 
Charles,  son  of  Nathaniel  Hamlin. 

William  Hamlin,  son  of  John,  was  born  in  Lewis  county  Kentucky,  on 
July  9,  1791.  He  married  there,  February  3,  181 1,  Mary,  daughter  of 
James  and  Sarah  (Golden)  Smith,  who  was  born  in  New  Jersey,  May  21, 
1786.  He  was  a  farmer.  He  built  a  log  cabin  at  the  Salt  Licks,  Kentucky, 
and  afterwards  a  more  pretentious  dwelling,  where  he  lived  and  reared  a 
family.  In  later  years  he  was  deputy  sheriff.  He  was  a  private  in  Captain 
Seward's  company,  under  General  Shelby,  Kentucky  militia,  August  28  to 
November  3,  1814.  These  were  mounted  troops,  each  man  furnishing  his 
own  horse  and  equipment.  His  half-brother,  James  (Lard)  Hamlin,  served 
with  him.  His  father  accompanied  them ;  having  been  an  old  soldier,  he 
said  he  would  go  along  to  take  care  of  the  boys.  They  participated  in  the 
battle  of  the  Thames  in  Canada,  under  General  Harrison,  in  which  Col. 
Dick  Johnson  led  an  attack  against  the  Indians  under  Tecumseh.  A  per- 
sonal encounter  ensued  between  Colonel  Johnson  and  Tecumseh,  who  shot 
at  each  other,  and  the  colonel  fell  wounded.  Capt.  James  Johnson,  who 
was  present,  saw  his  brother  fall  and  supposed  he  was  killed;  he  then 
attacked  Tecumseh.  who  fell  mortally  wounded.  It  is  not  settled  who  was 
the  slayer  of  Tecumseh.  Nathaniel  Hamlin  told  the  writer  that  he  had 
heard  his  father  say  that  he  was  present  at  the  fight,  and  that  he  person- 
ally captured  the  headdress  and  tomahawk  of  Tecumseh  as  trophies  on 
that  occasion.  On  the  return  from  Canada,  the  father,  John  Hamlin,  fell 
sick,  and  was  conveyed  home  in  a  horse-litter,  which  required  so  much 
attention  that  he  (William)  neglected  his  baggage,  and  the  trophies  were 
stolen  from  him,  as  he  supposed,  and  were  lost.  William  Hamlin  was  a 
strong  man,  with  black  hair  and  eyes  and  red  whiskers.  He  died  at  Salt 
Lick  on  November  25,  1837.  His  widow  went  to  live  with  her  son,  Will- 
iam, at  Bethel,  Ohio,  then  at  Homer,  Illinois,  and  came  to  Audubon  county 
with  him  in  185 1.  She  located  the  land  warrant  for  the  military  service 
of  her  husband  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  7, 
and  the  southwest  quarter  of  the  northwest  quarter  and  the  northwest  quarter 
of  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  8,  in  township  ']'],  range  36,  on  Buck 
creek,  now  Pymosa  township,  Cass  county,  Iowa.  A  patent  was  issued  to 
her  for  the  same  on  September  20.  1861,  signed  by  Abraham  Lincoln,  Presi- 
dent. She  lived  with  her  son,  William,  at  what  was  known  as  the  Barney 
Harris  place,  on  Buck  creek,  and  at  Exira.  She  returned  to  Ohio  and  Ken- 
tucky in  1865  with  her  daughters,  Mrs.  Beck  and  Mrs.  Glasgow,  but  came 


back  to  Audubon  county  in  1867.  Here  she  lived  with  her  son  Nathaniel 
until  her  death,  June  30,  1866,  aged  over  one  hundred  years. 

To  William  and  Mary  Hamlin  the  following  children  were  born  in 
Lewis  county,  Kentucky:  Rosanna,  born  on  January  18,  1812,  married 
Hiram  M.  Beck;  Nathaniel,  March  13,  1814,  married  Margaret  Poage; 
James,  April  i,  181 5,  married  Eliza  Shearer;  John,  September  3,  18 16, 
died  on  October  28,  1826;  Sarah,  January  12,  1818,  married  James  H. 
Denham;  Christiana,  December  7,  1819,  married  Dawson  Glasgow;  William 
Parker,  November  14,  1821,  married  Justenia  Lafargee;  Mary,  March  23, 
1823,  married  John  Johnson. 

We  have  given  the  lineage  of  the  Ha'mlins  and  the  record  of  the  chil- 
dren of  William  Hamlin  with  greater  particularity,  because  several  of  the 
family  were  among  the  early  settlers  of  Audubon  county. 


The  prominence  of  our  first  settler  merits  a  tribute  to  his  memory. 
Forming  his  acquaintance  in  1865,  and  holding  the  relation  of  his  trusted  legal 
adviser  for  years  in  many  transactions,  furnished  the  writer  the  experience 
and  opportunity  to  form  an  accurate  estimate  of  his  character  as  a  leading 
prominent  man  and  citizen  of  this  community  for  half  a  century.  Our 
political  principles  were  diametrically  opposed.  Mr.  Hamlin  was  a  Ken- 
tuckian,  of  mature  age  when  I  first  knew  him,  imbued  with  southern  ideas; 
a  believer  in  the  Confederacy,  so  much  so  that  he  named  a  son  for  Robert 
E.  Lee.  The  writer  was  a  Yankee  boy  from  Maine,  just  from  three  years' 
service  in  the  Union  army,  a  Republican,  with  all  that  it  implied.  During 
war  times  here  party  spirit  ran  to  extremes,  and  Republicans  and  Democrats 
entertained  bitter  hostile  relations,  which  had  not  subsided.  The  writer  was 
naturally  prejudiced  against  the  views  of  Mr.  Hamlin,  who  was  a  party 
leader,  and  with  those  who  acted  with  him.  Subsequent  years  of  associa- 
tion generated  mutual  respect  for  each  other. 

Perhaps  others  can  tell  the  life  of  Mr.  Hamlin  better  than  the  writer. 
He  was  a  man  of  honor  and  integrity,  truthful  in  an  eminent  degree,  and 
generous  to  the  limit — an  old-fashioned  gentleman.  In  mature  life,  he  was 
of  erect  figure,  five  feet  and  ten  inches  in  stature;  weight,  one  hundred  and 
fifty-five  pounds;  brown  hair  and  eyes;  light  florid  complexion,  with  thin, 
full  beard.  In  later  life  he  became  stooped,  and  his  hair  and  beard  were 
gray.  His  book  learning  was  limited  and  was  received  in  the  rude  hut  used 
for  schools  at  that  period,  furnished  with  desks  and  seats  split  and  hewed 




OLD  HAMLIN  HOUSE.  WEST  FRONT— Left  to  right:  Hendrick  11.  Smith,  1856; 
Maturiii  L.  Thomas,  grandson  of  Nathaniel  Hamlin;  present  owner.  Isaac  V.  D. 
Lewis,  is.",4.  The  building  at  the  right  was  the  oftiee  of  the  Western  Stage  Co.  up 
to  INUS. 

OLD   HAMLIN   HOUSE.    EAST   FRONT— Left   to   right:    Maturin   L.   Thomas,   grandson 
of  Nathaniel  Hamlin;   Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis,  1S54;  Hendrick  R.   Smith,  185G. 



from  logs,  and  secured  by  big  wooden  pins.  His  training  was  physical, 
relating  to  the  stern  realities  of  pioneer  life;  hewing  down  the  primeval 
forests  and  forcing  a  home  from  the  wilderness,  rather  than  the  pursuits 
of  literature.  In  youth  he  was  an  expert  hunter,  and,  with  gun  and  dogs, 
roamed  through  timber  and  mountains  in  pursuit  of  bear,  deer  and  other 
wild  game;  and  he  was  rewarded  with  trophies  of  his  prowess  in  the  chase. 
In  reminiscent  moods,  he  sometimes  related  incidents  in  the  lives  of 
himself  and  kindred,  some  of  which  have  been  preserved.     He  related  the 


following:  "I  once  killed  the  largest  bear  ever  found  in  the  neighborhood. 
It  stole  in  one  night  and  destroyed  several  litters  of  pigs,  and  was  discov- 
ered next  morning.  A  Mr.  Carter,  who  had  a  large  pack  of  hounds,  cor- 
ralled him  in  a  thicket;  but  the  bear  dispersed  the  hounds.  I  was  sent  for, 
and,  with  gun  and  dogs,  hastened  to  the  scene.  One  of  my  dogs  attacked 
the  bear  and  was  disabled.  The  bear  escaped  and  crawled  into  a  hollow 
chestnut  log,  where  I  shot,  wounded  and  enraged  it.  It  made  a  rush, 
knocked  me  down  and  escaped.  A  race  of  a  quarter  of  a  mile  left  me 
behind,  but  the  dogs  followed  and  brought  the  bear  to  bay  on  a  hillside, 


where  a  terrible  fight  took  place  between  the  bear  and  dogs.  I  got  there  in 
time  to  shoot  and  kill  the  bear."  Mr.  Hamlin's  love  for  hunting  continued 
as  long  as  game  was  abundant,  and  he  kept  a  variety  of  guns,  and  several 
noble  hounds  at  his  home  up  to  the  time  of  his  death.  The  baying  of 
hounds  was  music  to  his  ear. 

Nathaniel  Hamlin  was  born  in  Lewis  county,  Kentucky,  March  13, 
1814.  On  arriving  at  majority,  he  remained  in  his  native  place  and  worked 
at  whip-sawing  in  the  timber  at  one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents  a  day. 
One  season  his  crew  got  out  the  frame  for  a  steamboat.  He  remembered 
the  first  saw-mill  set  up  in  that  county.  Before  that  event  they  lived  in  log 
cabins,  floored  with  "puncheons,"  split  out  of  logs  and  roughly  hewed  with 
broad-axes.  After  his  father's  death,  in  the  fall  of  1837,  he  left  the  "old 
Kentucky  home"  and  went  to  Champaign  county,  Illinois,  where  he  worked 
a  season  on  the  Illinois  Central  railroad.  Two  outfits  worked  on  the  job, 
one  company  being  Americans,  the  other  Irishmen.  To  his  disgust  he  was 
put  to  work  with  the  latter  gang;  but  he  soon  discovered  information  which 
he  turned  to  advantage.  In  addition  to  the  regular  wages  paid,  the  labor- 
ers were  allowed  several  "jiggers"  (drinks  of  whisky)  a  day.  Mr.  Hamlin 
exchanged  his  share  for  labor  with  other  workmen,  and  thus  got  to  rest 
while  others  worked — in  the  absence  of  the  "boss." 

On  April  9,  1840,  Mr.  Hamlin  married  in  Vermilion  county,  Illinois, 
Margaret,  daughter  of  Allan  and  Margaret  (Terrill)  Poage.  She  was  born 
in  Greenup  county,  Kentucky,  August  12,  1824.  This  proved  the  best 
adventure  of  Mr.  Hamlin's  life.  For  several  years  after  marriage  they 
had  a  struggle  for  existence.  Times  were  hard,  money  scarce  and  farm 
products  commanded  but  low  prices.  They  were  not  landowners  yet,  but 
were  obliged  to  accept  indulgence  for  subsistence ,  which  was  obtained. 
When  the  time  for  payment  came  thev  were  less  able  to  pay  than  at  the 
start,  so  that  a  note  for  the  debt,  at  twelve  per  cent,  interest,  was  given  for 
extension  of  time.  This  was  paid  at  maturity  out  of  the  proceeds  of  hogs 
raised,  fattened  and  marketed  at  one  and  a  quarter  cents  a  pound.  About 
this  time  he  got  a  job  hauling  grain  to  Chicago,  which  furnished  the  neces- 
sities for  a  living,  and  they  secured  a  small  lot  of  stock.  They  sold  out  in 
Illinois  at  extremely  low  prices  (the  best  cow  brought  only  seven  dollars), 
and  in  the  fall  of  1844  went  to  Sand  Ridge,  near  Trenton,  in  Henry  county, 
Iowa.  The  following  year  he  returned  to  Illinois  to  collect  the  proceeds 
of  the  sale  of  the  previous  year,  and  received  pay  in  Indiana  and  Ohio  bank 
notes,  or  "wildcat"  money,  which  proved  to  be  of  doubtful  value.  This 
reverse  brought  them  to  the  foot  again  financially.     In  the  spring  of   1845 


they  loaded  their  effects  into  two  wagons  and  started  for  the  new  purchase 
made  from  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians,  where  he  had  bought  from  his  uncle, 
for  thirty  dollars  on  time,  an  abandoned  claim  of  one  hundred  and  twenty 
acres  of  land,  in  the  extreme  northwest  corner  of  Mahaska  county,  on  the 
Skunk  river. 

Mr.  Hamlin  related :  ''When  we  got  there  I  had  but  a  five-franc  piece 
left.  Our  claim  had  a  log  hut  on  it,  without  roof  or  floor,  and  we  used 
the  bark  of  basswood  trees  for  a  loft,  the  logs  being  split  for  rails.  We 
lived  there  until  the  following  September.  Some  people  claimed  that  our 
'wildcat'  money  was  worth  fifty  cents  on  the  dollar,  but  I  ga\e  eighty  dollars 
of  it  on  the  Circleville,  Ohio,  bank  for  a  squirrel  rifle,  which  I  still  have 
and  with  which  we  procured  all  the  meat  we  had  for  two  years.  During 
that  time  we  lived  on  the  scantiest  fare,  having  neither  coffee,  except  such 
as  we  made  from  parched  corn,  nor  sugar,  nor  even  soda  for  our  bread. 
On  a  diet  of  cornbread  and  corn  coffee,  I  have  walked  a  mile  and  a  half 
and  split  two  hundred  rails  a  day.  After  we  had  been  in  Mahaska  county 
awhile,  I  went  back  to  Henry  county  to  mill,  and  while  resting  in  an  emi- 
grant camp  I  found  a  half  dollar,  which  was  then  more  highly  prized  than 
one  thousand  dollars  would  be  today.  There  was  no  money  in  the  country 
until  1848,  when  a  colony  of  Hollanders  settled  in  Marion  county.  They 
soon  built  a  grist-mill,  which  was  a  great  relief  to  the  settlers.  I  was  now 
able  to  pay  my  claim.  I  might  possibly  have  borrowed  some  money  at  very 
high  rates,  but  when  I  got  out  of  debt  in  Illinois  I  made  a  vow  never  again, 
if  I  could  avoid  it,  to  get  into  debt,  and  was  determined  to  keep  my  word. 
At  the  end  of  two  years  my  clothes  were  in  tatters;  but  of  two  deer  skins, 
which  I  tanned,  I  made,  with  whangs,  a  pair  of  pants  and  moccasins.  With 
another  buckskin  I  got  my  first  start  of  hogs  by  trading  it  with  a  neighbor 
for  a  shoat,  which  I  carried  a  mile  and  a  half  home  on  my  back.  A  friend 
loaned  us  a  cow,  from  which  we  obtained  milk  and  butter." 

It  was  a  common  thing  for  Mr.  Hamlin  and  his  neighbors  to  grind 
corn  for  meal  in  a  hand-mill.  He  was  elected  justice  of  the  peace  in  1846, 
and  held  the  office  until  he  came  to  Audubon  county. 

In  1848  Mr.  Hamlin  made  a  trip  to  Illinois  to  visit  friends.  He  agreed 
with  a  man  to  put  up  some  hay  for  him  while  he  was  absent,  which  he 
failed  to  do.  The  corn  was  frosted,  and  some  of  it  was  cut  up  and 
shocked  for  feed.  The  snow  came  in  October,  before  the  ground  froze, 
and  laid  all  winter,  so  that  in  the  spring  they  were  able  to  gather  their  pota- 
toes and  turnips,  which  had  laid  in  the  ground  all  winter,  unhurt.  They 
suffered  in  Mahaska  county  from  fever  and  ague,  as  they  had  in  Illinois, 


and  decided  to  move  again  and  make  another  trial  for  a  home.  So  they 
sold  their  land  in  Mahaska  in  1850  for  one  thousand  dollars,  and  took  most 
of  the  pay  in  oxen  and  young  cattle. 

We  have  previously  given  an  account  of  the  settlement  of  Mr.  Hamlin 
and  his  family  in  Audubon  county  in  185 1.  The  site  of  his  home  was  on 
the  south  side  of  "Unexpected  creek,"  a  tributary  of  Troublesome,  in  the 
northeast  quarter  of  section  35,  now  Exira  township.  This  was  on  the 
Mormon  trail,  and  there  he  made  his  home  and  lived  the  remainder  of  his 
life.  It  soon  became  the  overland  route  to  California,  and  later  to  Pike's 
Peak  and  the  west,  and  brought  traffic  to  his  very  door.  "Hamlin's  Grove" 
was  known  across  the  state  of  Iowa,  from  Davenport  to  Council  Bluffs, 
as  well  as  outside  the  state.  A  postoffice  of  the  same  name  was  established 
there  and  he  was  appointed  the  first  postmaster  in  the  county,  receiving  his 
commission  under  President  Zachary  Taylor  in  1853,  and  held  the  office 
until  removed  by  President  Lincoln  for  political  reasons,  in  1861.  The 
Western  Stage  company  afterwards  established  a  station  at  his  place,  of 
which  he  was  agent,  and  continued  until  the  advent  of  the  railroad  in  1869. 

He  acquired  a  large  amount  of  land  and  was  extensively  engaged  in 
farming  and  stock  raising.  He  employed  many  to  work  for  him,  and  for 
many  years  was  one  of  the  most  prosperous  men  in  the  county  and  one  of 
the  two  most  wealthy.  His  situation  enabled  him  to  dispose  of  his  prod- 
ucts to  emigrants  at  good  prices.  In  the  early  days  he  kept  goods  for  sale. 
He,  with  Charles  Marsh,  started  the  first  blacksmith  shop  in  the  county. 
He  kept  large  numbers  of  horses  and  mules,  which  pastured  over  the  prairies 
about  Indian  Grove  and  Crooked  creek,  in  what  is  now  Audubon  township, 
and  had  many  cattle  and  hogs.  For  several  years  at  the  close  of  the  war, 
and  later,  he,  with  G.  T.  Poage  and  Levi  Zaner,  operated  the  steam  saw 
and  grist-mill,  and  did  a  thriving  business  at  Old  Louisville,  the  busiest 
place  in  the  county,  then  and  up  to  about  the  time  of  the  advent  of  the 
Chicago,  Rock  Island  &  Pacific  railroad  to  Atlantic.  In  1855  he  was 
elected  first  treasurer  and  recorder  of  the  county,  and  held  the  office  until 
1864.  For  several  years  he  was  trustee  of  Audubon  township,  when  it 
embraced  the  entire  county.  The  following  incident  in  his  official  career 
illustrates  his  offhand,  characteristic  honesty  and  fairness.  In  1868  he 
was  one  of  the  judges  of  election.  Audubon  township  was  strongly  Demo- 
cratic, and  the  county  was  nearly  divided  in  politics.  The  election  board 
convened  in  the  schoolhouse  near  Lewis's,  and  received  votes  until  noon, 
when  they  adjourned  for  dinner  at  Mr.  Hamlin's  house.  We  suppose  they 
had  a  good  dinner  there,  as  was  usual,   with  the   "trimmings"   that   went 


COUNTY,  1858. 




with  it.  Walter  J.  Jardine,  a  Scotchman,  was  a  member  of  the  board.  They 
took  with  them  the  ballot  box,  which  was  fashioned  from  a  cigar  box,  with 
a  slit  cut  in  the  top  for  reciving  the  ballots.  It  was  a  fragile  affair,  and 
the  custodian  had  too  much  dinner — or  something — and  crushed  the  box 
while  carrying  it  under  his  arm.  Some  of  the  ballots  dropped  out,  unno- 
ticed at  the  time,  and  were  lost.  On  reassembhng  at  the  voting  place,  the 
accident  was  discovered  and  the  judges  were  in  a  dilemma  as  to  how  to 
proceed.  "By  gr-r-racious !  What  shall  we  do?"  said  Mr.  Jardine,  and 
they  discussed  the  matter.  "I'll  be  ganned,  sir,  I'll  tell  you  what  we  will 
do,"  said  ^Ir.  Hamlin.  "Look  at  the  names  on  the  pollbook  and  see  how 
many  Democrats  and  how  many  Republicans  have  voted  (which  was  not 
difficult  to  do,  for  voters  did  not  scratch  tickets  much  in  those  days)  ;  then 
open  the  ballot  box  and  see  how  many  ballots  of  each  kind  have  been  lost, 
and  put  in  enough  more  of  each  kind  to  make  the  count  good."  And  it 
was  so  done.  It  was  afterwards  proposed  to  contest  the  election  and  throw 
out  the  vote  of  Audubon  township,  which  would  have  changed  the  result 
as  declared  and  have  elected  the  Republican  ticket  by  a  handsome  majority. 
But  better  judgment  prevailed.  While  the  action  of  the  judges  was  clearly 
illegal  in  tampering  with  the  ballot  box,  no  actual  fraud  was  intended.  The 
result  was  as  the  voters  intended. 

In  1854-5  Hamlin  and  his  neighbors  built  a  log  building  for  a  private 
school  house,  the  first  in  the  county,  and  hired  a  private  teacher  to  teach 
his  own  children  and  those  of  Judge  Harris.  He  was  an  influential  man 
in  the  early  days,  and  if  a  school  house,  highway,  bridge  or  other  public 
improvement  was  wanting,  it  was  well  to  secure  his  assistance  to  insure 

In  politics  Hamlin  was  an  old-fashioned,  Andrew  Jackson  Democrat, 
for  whom  he  cast  his  first  presidential  vote,  and  he  supported  Stephen  A. 
Douglas  for  President  in  i860.  A  pro-slavery  man,  in  his  opinion  it  was 
a  more  heinous  ofi^ense  to  steal  a  "nigger"  than  to  steal  a  horse  or  any 
other  kind  of  property.  He  strongly  advocated  opposition  to  the  Civil 
War  and  the  Republican  administration,  during  that  period;  but  he  never 
committed  any  overt  act  of  treason  against  the  government.  His  senti- 
ments were  tinctured  by  the  conduct  of  J.  Lyman  Frost  toward  himself. 
Mr.  Hamlin  was  a  high-spirited  man.  a  leader  in  public  affairs,  and  held 
prom.inent  offices.  Frost  was  a  meddlesome,  revengeful  man,  a  dabbler  in 
partizan  politics  in  a  small  way.  He  and  his  party  spied  upon  Mr.  Hamlin 
and  his  party,  and  watched  for  an  opportunity  to  injure  and  discredit  him. 
It  came  by  the  removal  of  Hamlin   from  the  postoffice   for  political   rea- 


sons,  and  Frost  was  appointed  in  his  place,  which  Mr.  Hamhn  keenly 
resented,  rightly  believing  it  was  accomplished  by  Frost  to  injure  him  in 
public  estimation.  And  it  probably  caused  Hamlin  to  become  a  more  bitter 
partizan.  It  is  justice  to  Mr.  Frost  to  add  that  he  was  a  zealous  Union  man, 
and  believed  that  he  was  doing  his  duty  to  the  country. 

In  other  respects  Hamlin  was  a  good  citizen,  and  was  deeply  interested 
in  the  progress  and  prosperity  of  the  community  in  which  he  lived.  A 
prominent  citizen  once  remarked  concerning  him :  "He  was  a  good  friend, 
but  not  a  bad  enem3^"  If  he  disliked  a  person  he  let  him  severely  alone. 
Many  a  poor  man  in  this  county  has  received  substantial  aid  and  assistance 
from  Mr.  Hamlin,  and  his  kindness  of  heart  many  times  led  him  into  obli- 
gations on  behalf  of  his  neighbors  which  left  him  many  thousands  of  dol- 
lars out  of  pocket.  He  possessed  a  keen  sense  of  honor  and  integrity.  "His 
word  was  as  good  as  his  Ijond." 

No  little  of  Mr.  Hamlin's  prosperity  was  attributable  to  his  excellent 
wife.  "Aunt  Pegg}'"  was  admirably  suited  to  pioneer  life.  The  Hamlin 
home  was  the  synonym  for  hospitality.  The  hungry  never  left  their  door 
unfed.  No  woman  in  Audubon  county  ever  fed  so  many  mouths,  free 
gratis,  as  did  this  good  lady.  It  seemed  to  make  no  difference  how  many 
dropped  in  at  meal  times,  nor  whether  they  came  unannounced ;  she  was 
equal  to  the  occasion,  and  without  excuses  or  ostentation,  in  a  plain,  com- 
mon sense  way,  in  surprising  readiness,  fed  the  multitude  in  a  substantial 
manner.  Their  ordinary  household  was  large,  with  their  many  children 
and  hired  help;  then  later,  the  employees  of  the  stage  company,  who  boarded 
and  lodged  there,  and  the  passengers  on  the  stages,  and  other  travelers 
made  uncertain  numbers  to  feed  and  were  numerous.  People  from  all  parts 
congregated  there  socially  and  on  business,  and  the  young  people  on  Sun- 
days made  Hamlin's  a  public  resort. 

A  prominent  citizen  told  the  writer  years  ago  that  in  early  times  here 
money  was  very  scarce :  that  he  was  una1)le  for  months  at  a  time  to  obtain 
enough  specie  to  pay  postage  on  letters  to  his  friends.  Mr.  Hamlin  was  an 
exception  to  this  condition.  The  money  which  came  into  this  county  gen- 
erally found  its  way  into  his  hands  as  postmaster  or  county  treasurer.  To 
facilitate  the  stringency  of  money,  during  war  times,  Mr.  Hamlin  issued 
script  money,  written  on  pasteboard.  The  artist  who  made  it  was  our  old- 
time  friend,  the  late  A.  B.  Houston,  who  ornamented  the  cards  in  his  own 
particular  method  with  pen  and  various  colored  inks.  The  following  is  a 
copy  of  a  piece  of  the  Hamlin  script : 




A.  B 








Grove  and  E 


in    Currency 

Fifty    Cents 


Dresented  in 

sums  of  Five, Dollars. 





,  Jan. 

15,  1863. 

.  50 


Mr.   Hamlin  was  considered  amply  good,   where   he   was  known,    for 
everything  to  which  his  name  was  attached. 

The   following  statement  shows  a  difficulty  with  the  money  of  those 
early  days : 

"Fort  Des   Moines,   October   25.    1854. 
"This  is  to  certify  that  I  paid  Mr.   N.   Hamlin  for  J.   Frink  &  Co.  a 
ten-dollar  bill  on  the  State  Bank  of  Ohio,  which  he  cannot  pass.     It  is  said 
to  be  counterfeit.     I  took  the  bill  for  good  money,  but  do  not  know  who 
gave  it  to  me. 

"Edwin  Taylor." 
election  certificate. 

"State  of  Iowa,  Audubon  County,  ss. : 

"This  is  to  certify  that  at  an  election  held  in  the  town  of  Dayton,  in 
said  county  and  state,  on  the  3rd  day  of  August,  1857,  Nathaniel  Hamhn, 
was  elected  treasurer  and  recorder  for  said  county  for  the  term  of  two 
years,  he  having  given  bond  and  taken  the  oath  of  office  prescribed  by  law. 

"Given  under  my  hand  and  seal  of  office,  August  8,  1857. 

"D.  M.  Harris,  County  Judge." 

Like  many  old-fashioned  people,  Mr.  Hamlin  was  partial  to  the  fa\or- 
ite  beverage  of  Kentucky,  which  he  used  in  moderation  all  his  life,  and  in 
early  times  kept  it  for  sale.  He  usually  had  a  generous  supply  in  his  house, 
which  he  was  pleased  to  offer  his  friends  and  guests  when  under  his  hos- 
pitable roof. 

In  1870,  before  the  resumption  of  specie  payment,  during  an  absence 
of  Mr.  Hamlin  in  Colorado  on  business,  the  writer,  who  was  his  attorney, 


had  occasion  to  look  among  his  private  business  papers.  He  was  shown 
into  a  secret  place  back  of  the  chimney,  and  there,  in  a  trunk,  search  was 
made  for  the  necessary  papers.  In  examining  the  contents  of  the  trunk 
there  were  found  two  shot  sacks,  apparently  filled  with  coins.  Mentioning 
the  fact  to  Mr.  Hamlin  years  afterwards,  he  admitted  that  he  had  kept 
that  specie  on  hand  many  years,  all  through  the  war  period.  He  was  one 
of  those  who  did  not  have  faith  in  the  paper  money  of  the  United  States, 
and  believed  that  it  would  share  the  same  fate  as  the  old  "wildcat"  money. 

Mr.  Hamlin  was  not  a  church  member,  but  favored  the  Baptist  faith. 
Mrs.  Hamlin  was  a  member  of  the  Christian  church.  He  died  at  his  home, 
of  paralysis  on  April  17,  1897.  After  his  death  Mrs.  Hamlin  moved  to 
Exira,  and  died  there  on  September  13,  1906.  Most  of  the  Hamlin  estate 
has  passed  out  of  the  hand  of  his  descendants.  A  grandson,  Maturin  L. 
Thomas,  owns  the  old  homestead  proper,  on  Troublesome  creek. 

The  children  born  to  this  worthy  couple  were  as  follow :  Mary  Mar- 
garet, who  married  Isaac  Thomas;  Hannah  Maria,  married  Charles  C. 
Hawk;  Sarah  Rosannah,  married  Benjamin  F.  Thomas;  Malinda  Christi- 
ana, married  William  Radcliff;  William  Allan,  married  Florence  A.  Lewis; 
Martha  Jane,  married  Edward  Calph;  Eliza  Angeline,  died  in  1859;  Susan 
Parker,  married  John  V.  Plantz;  Clara  Harris,  married  John  M.  Allen; 
Nathaniel  Douglas,  married  Elva  Crane;  Fernando  Burton,  married  Emma 
E.  Kilworth;  Robert  E.  Lee,  married  Sadie  J.   Wheeler. 


William  P.  Hamlin  came  with  the  first  settlers  in  May,  1851,  but 
soon  moved  to  Cass  county,  a  short  distance  south  of  the  Exira  township 
line.  His  place  was  afterward  owned  for  many  years  by  Almond  Goodale. 
From  thence  he  moved  to  Buck  creek,  a  short  distance  south  of  the  Audu- 
bon county  line  on  the  place  owned  for  many  years  by  Barney  Harris.  He 
moved  to  Exira  in  i860  and  bought  the  residence  of  Judge  Harris,  who 
at  once  built  a  larger  dwelling  on  the  site  of  the  present  Park  hotel.  Hamlin 
was  a  hunter ;  had  done  a  little  farming ;  kept  a  small  stock  of  merchandise 
in  his  dwelling  for  sale,  brought  by  his  own  team  from  Des  Moines,  Council 
Bluffs  and  other  places ;  and  he  sold  liquors.  He  was  conspicuous  for  quar- 
rels and  petty  lawsuits,  and  was  frequently  prosecuted  for  illicit  dealing  in 
liquors.  He  was  a  visionary  man  and  dabbled  in  patent  rights.  He  was 
proprietor  of  "Hamlin's  Omaha  Liniment."  In  collecting  testimonials  for 
advertising  the  nostrum,  he  solicited  one  from  Peoria  I.  Whitted,  who  said 


that  he  had  used  the  article  and  appreciated  its  vakie,  and  that  it  would  be 
a  pleasure  for  him  to  oblige  Mr.  Hamlin.  Whitted  said  that  on  one  occa- 
sion a  strange  dog  was  harboring  about  his  place,  and  in  trying  to  drive 
it  away,  he  threw  an  ax  at  the  dog,  which  cut  off  its  tail;  that  he  was  sorry 
for  the  suffering  of  the  poor  brute  and  bathed. the  wounded  stump  from  which 
the  tail  was  cut  with  "Hamlin's  Liniment,"  and,  behold,  a  new  tail  grew 
out  from  it.  He  was  surprised  at  the  result,  and  some  time  later  he  discov- 
ered the  dissevered  caudal  appendage,  and  recalling  the  marvelous  effect 
of  the  liniment  on  the  former  occasion,  he  applied  a  dose  of  it  to  the  defunct 
member,  when,  wonderful  to  relate,  a  new  dog  was  grown  out  of  it.  This 
romance  of  Whitted's  produced  no  small  amount  of  merriment  at  Ham- 
lin's expense,  who  did  not  take  to  it  kindly.  While  a  member  of  the  grand 
jury  in  1869,  he  was  himself  indicted  for  selling  liquor,  and  pleaded  guilty. 
On  coming  before  Judge  Maxwell  for  sentence,  he  was  given  permission 
to  make  a  statement  in  mitigation,  and  gave  an  ingenious  excuse.  He  said 
that  he  was  the  manufacturer  of  "Hamlin's  Omaha  Liniment,"  one  of  the 
ingredients  of  which  was  alcohol,  which  he  kept  on  hand,  and  that  he  had, 
out  of  friendship,  let  his  neighbors  have  some  of  it.  The  Judge  first  cau- 
tioned him  not  to  interrupt  while  he  pronounced  sentence;  ordered  him  to 
stand  up  and  proceeded  to  censure  him  unmercifully  and  poured  out  the 
vials  of  his  wrath  on  the  heinousness  of  rum-selling,  until  Hamlin  could 
stand  it  no  longer,  and  he  said :  'T  did  have  a  United  States  license,  Judge." 
"What  did  you  get  that  for?"  mockingly  said  the  Judge.  "I  did  it  because 
I  thought  it  would  be  no  child's  play  to  get  into  the  United  States  court," 
humbly  replied  Mr.  Hamlin.  "I  will  tell  you  now,  Mr.  Hamlin,  before  you 
are  through  with  my  court  that  it  is  no  child's  play,"  savagely  responded 
the  Judge.     And  a  stiff  fine  was  imposed. 

In  1870  Hamlin  resisted  an  officer  who  was  searching  his  premises  for 
illicit  liquors,  and  hid  himself  out  for  many  days  to  escape  arrest.  His 
liquor  was  seized  and,  pending  trial,  it  was  stolen  and  the  receptacle  filled 
with  water.  Mr.  Scott  was  prosecuting  the  case  before  Squire  Dodge,  who 
solemnly  condemned  the  stuff,  and  ordered  it  destroyed.  The  sheriff  car- 
ried it  into  the  street,  broke  up  the  cask  and  spilled  the  contents.  Mr. 
Dodgre  himself  tried  to  set  it  on  fire  Avith  a  match,  but  it  would  not  burn. 
He  remarked  that  any  one  who  kept  such  miserably  poor  whisky  ought  to 
be  punished!  But  the  way  Scott  and  Griggs  convulsed  with  laughter  at 
sight  of  the  iustice  trying  to  set  water  on'  fire  with  a  match,  indicated  that 
they  might  have  known  what  became  of  the  whisky.  It  was  pronounced 
bonus  by  those  supposed  to  be  judges  of  the  article. 


A  warrant  was  issued  for  the  arrest  of  Hamlin,  and  delivered  to  Henry 
Huyck,  constable,  for  service,  who  was  afraid,  and  consulted  Mr.  Leffing- 
well,  ex-sheriff,  as  to  his  duty  in  the  matter.  Leffingwell,  observmg 
Huyck's  dilemma,  and  his  fear  and  inexperience,  saw  a  chance  for  some  fun. 
He  caused  him  to  believe  that  Hamlin  was  a  dangerous  man,  and  cautioned 
him  to  be  on  the  alert  and  to  avoid  injury.  Huyck  armed  himself,  prac- 
ticed firing  a  revolver,  called  Lefiingwell  out  to  witness  his  shooting  and 
requested  his  opinion  as  to  his  chances  of  arresting  Mr.  Hamlin.  In  firing 
off  his  gun,  one  of  the  chambers  missed.  "There,"  said  Lefiingwell,  "What 
could  you  do  now  if  Hamlin  was  after  you?,"  It  so  worked  on  Huyck's 
nerves  and  alarmed  him  that  he  resigned  his  office,  and  Hamlin  was  not 
apprehended.  He  sold  out  and  went  to  Arkansas,  but  kept  in  hiding  until 
he  got  away.  He  had  an  idea  that  a  Democrat  was  the  salt  of  the  earth 
and  could  do  no  w^ong.  His  favorite  appellation  was  to  call  Republicans 
"Thundering  Puritan  Hounds."  His  favorite  byword  was  "By  gosh!" 
which  was  the  extent  of  his  profanity.  It  is  fair  to  say  that  he  was  hon- 
orable and  honest  in  financial  matters  and  his  word  was  considered  good. 
He  had  a  strong  dislike  at  that  time  for  the  writer,  whom  he  classed  with 
the  "Puritans,"  but,  in  later  years,  this  attitude  changed  to  that  of  firm 
friendship  and  mutual  confidence.  If  there  w^as  one  thing  more  than 
another  which  he  despised  it  was  a  "Yankee."  When  leaving,  he  w^as 
owing  me  a  small  sum,  which  he  sent  in  and  paid  in  full.  Many  were 
delighted  at  his  departure  and  would  not  have  detained  him  for  sake  of 
seeing  him  punished.  He  returned  to  Exira  about  1874-5  and  drove  a  hack- 
line  several  years.  During  the  same  time  he  resumed  selling  wine  and  beer, 
for  which  he  was  again  prosecuted-  He  returned  again  to  Arkansas  about 
1879.  On  a  visit  here  a  few  years  later,  he  said  that  he  had  modified  his 
political  views,  and  that  he  strongly  opposed  the  liquor  traffic,  having  seen 
so  much  of  its  evils.  He  also  said  to  me :  "Frank,  you  used  to  think  I  was 
on  'Old  Moss  Back,'  but  I  wish  you  could  see  some  of  the  natives  in  Arkan- 
sas. They  called  me  a  'Yankee.'  I  tell  you  it  was  tough."  He  died  on 
January  17,  1909. 


John  Shacket  Jenkins  was  born  near  Elizabeth,  Meade  county,  Ken- 
tucky, October  14,  1799.  His  father  bore  the  same  name.  His  wife  was 
Malinda  Miller.  He  was  a  stone  mason  In-  trade  and  a  farmer.  He  lived 
in  Meade  county  until  about  1838,  when  he  moved  to  Perry  county,  Indi- 
ana; thence  to  Dablonega,  Wapello  county,  Iowa,  in  1850.     This  place  did 



not  please  him  and,  in  the  spring  of  the  year  1851,  he  started  west  again 
without  any  particular  place  in  view,  to  discover  a  suitable  place  for  a  home. 
At  the  Quaker  Divide,  near  Winterset,  Iowa,  he  fell  in  with  Nathaniel 
Hamlin  and  his  party,  who  were  on  their  journey  to  settle  in  Audubon 
county.  As  stated  elsewhere,  the  company  arrived  at  Mr.  Hamlin's  claim 
on  May  6.  With  him  came  his  wife  and  children.  He  had  three  yoke  of 
oxen,  a  cow  and  a  horse.  The  next  morning  after  the  arrival  at  Hamlin's 
place  he  mounted  his  horse  and  rode  over  to  the  Nishua  Botna  river,  to  the 
site  of  the  present  town  of  Oakfield,  where  he  selected  a  claim  for  his  home. 


near  the  "Big  Spring,"  and  near  where  the  old  school  house  at  Oakfield  used 
to  stand.  To  mark  out  his  claim  he  blazed  a  basswood  tree  and  upon  it 
wrote,  "This  is  my  claim,"  and  signed  his  name  to  it.  Soon  after  a  party 
of  men  came  there  from  down  river  about  Indian  Town  or  Lewis,  among 
whom  was  one  Jerry  Bradshaw,  who  took  a  fancy  to  the  same  location  and 
proceeded  to  blaze  trees  to  mark  out  a  claim. 

Mr.  Jenkins  soon  learned  about  Bradshaw's  operations  and  went  to 
ascertain  what  he  was  doing.  William  Hamlin,  who  went  with  him,  nar- 
rated the  event  many  years  ago.  They  were  at  first  in  doubt  whether  Brad- 
shaw was  attempting  to  "jump"  "Uncle  Johnny's"  claim,  but  found  where 


he  had  blazed  trees  on  Jenkins's  claim  and  soon  discovered  that  he  had  cut 
down  one  of  Jenkins's  witness  trees  and  thrown  it  into  the  river.  This 
aroused  the  ire  of  "Uncle  Johnny,"  who  said  to  Mr.  Hamlin :  "This  shows 
to  me,  sir,  that  they  are  not  innocent  progressors."  Then  they  came  to 
"Uncle  Johnny's''  blazed  basswood,  and  found  that  Bradshaw  had  written 
beneath  Jenkins's  claim :  "This  is  my  claim  and  you  had  better  get  off." 
We  shall  have  occasion  to  show  later  how  Bradshaw  was  disposed  of.  Mr. 
Jenkins  held  his  claim  and  soon  built  a  cabin  on  it.  This  claim  he  sold  in 
1854  to  Samuel  B.  Hopkins  and  it  subsequently  became  the  Hallock  place 
and  the  town  of  Oakfield  was  located  on  part  of  it.  Mr.  Jenkins  soon 
located  in  section  29  in  what  is  now  Exira  township.  At  first  he  built 
another  log  cabin,  later  a  commodious  dwelling,  which,  if  not  the  first,  was 
among  the  earliest  plastered  houses  in  the  county  before  1865.  This  place 
he  sold  about  1870,  and  moved  to  near  the  present  town  of  Brayton.  He 
was  a  Kentuckian  of  the  old  school,  a  stern  man,  physically  and  morally,  and 
of  lofty  sentiments;  of  the  strictest  integrity;  honorable  and  trustworthy  in 
e\ery  way.  His  word  was  reliable  and  always  promptly  defended  and  sus- 
tained. Nothing  insulted  him  more  than  to  dispute  or  cast  doubt  upon  it. 
At  the  first  election  in  the  county,  held  at  his  cabin  in  April,  1855,  he  was  one 
of  the  judges  of  election.  A  dispute  arose  between  him  and  Walter  Marsh 
over  the  candidates  for  county  judge — Daniel  M.  Harris  and  Thomas  S. 
Lewis — during  which  IMarsh  disputed  his  word  and  called  him  by  a  hard 
name.  "Uncle  Johnny"  at  once  seized  his  rifle  and  took  it  down  from  the 
deer  horns  where  it  rested  and  attempted  to  shoot  Marsh,  but  the  bystanders' 
prevented  it. 

In  a  large  sense,  Jenkins  was  one  of  nature's  noble  men.  His  marked 
characteristics  were  worthy  of  record.  His  courage  was  undaunted;  but  he 
was  kind,  friendly  and  courteous.  In  a  rude  way,  his  utterances  often 
approached  remarkable  poetic  charm  and  force.  His  hospitality  was  of  the 
peculiar,  old-fashioned  Kentucky  style,  always  with  an  open  welcome,  and 
to  offer  recompense  for  entertainment,  even  by  a  stranger,  was  next  to  an 
insult — never  desired  and  almost  sternly  refused,  if  tendered.  His  book 
learning  was  deficient ;  he  was  evidently  reared  in  the  stern  surroundings 
of  pioneer  life — better  acquainted  with  the  methods  of  acquiring  the  neces- 
saries of  life  than  with  the  accomplishments  of  social  enjoyment. 

In  his  younger  days  it  was  considered  honorable  for  men  to  engage  in 
contests  for  physical  superiority,  with  only  such  power  and  advantages  as 
nature  provided  and  for  the  mere  gratification  of  deciding  who  was  the 
best  man  in  a  hand-to-hand  fight.     We  have  heard  him  relate  taking  part 


in  such  contests.  His  friends  and  admirers  once  desired  to  match  him  with 
a  noted  champion  on  a  pubHc  occasion  for  such  a  fight.  He  was  then 
recovering  from  an  illness  and  did  not  consider  himself  in  condition  for 
such  a  trial;  but  he  was  persuaded,  against  his  judgment,  made  the  fight, 
and  was  defeated.  It  wounded  his  pride  and  injured  his  reputation,  and 
he  decided  to  fit  himself  and  fight  the  victor  again.  Another  match  was 
arranged  at  a  general  muster  of  the  militia,  and  a  long  savage  fight  was 
pulled  oft',  in  which  the  combatants  used  ex'ery  effort  of  skill  known  to  such 
encounters,  striking,  grappling,  wrestling,  choking,  gouging,  etc.  Mr.  Jen- 
kins won  the  victory  and  completely  vanquished  his  antagonist.  He  added 
after  relating  the  story:  "But,  my  God,  sir,  how  he  gouged  me!  And 
my  eyes  have  never  been  right  since."  The  fact  was  noticeable  that  his 
eyes  had  been  injured.  Gouging,  which  was  employed  in  such  fights,  con- 
sisted in  the  fighter  forcing  his  thumb  into  the  eye  of  his  antagonist  until 
sometimes  the  eye  was  forced  from  the  socket.  Barbarous  and  inhuman 
as  this  practice  seems,  such  events  were  common  in  old  times  in  Kentucky 
and  elsewhere.  A  champion  in  such  aftairs  was  considered  a  popular,  prom- 
inent citizen,  and  excited  admiration.  An  old  Kentucky  favorite  once 
remarked  that  in  his  youth  every  man  was  expected  to  be  ready  to  fight  at 
the  drop  of  the  hat,  and  "that  unless  he  was  a  fighter  the  girls  wouldn't 
have  anything  to  say  to  him.  That  he  was  looked  upon  as  a  coward." 
What  a  marked  evolution  in  public  opinion  on  the  subject  exists  today. 

After  Mr.  Bradshaw  attempted  to  jump  Mr.  Jenkins's  claim,  his  party 
made  claim  to  some  of  the  land  claimed  by  Doctor  Ballard.  The  settlers 
collected  and  proceeded  to  defend  the  rights  of  the  Doctor.  The  meeting 
was  on  the  Botna,  in  the  timber,  near  the  county  line.  The  Doctor  was 
present,  addressed  the  meeting,  and  explained  what  he  was  doing  and 
desired  to  do ;  that  he  proposed  to  become  an  actual  settler  and  desired  a 
good-sized  estate,  which  he  had  selected,  and  was  able  to  pay  for  it,  when 
it  came  into  market  and  requested  protection,  etc.  Bradshaw  and  his 
party  urged  that  the  action  of  the  Doctor  was  unfair;  that  he  was  asking 
too  much ;  that  it  deprived  others  from  settling  there,  and  added  that  they 
had  equal  right  to  the  land  as  much  as  the  Doctor  had;  that  they  had 
selected  some  of  the  land  chosen  by  the  Doctor,  and  intended  to  settle  on 
and  hold  it. 

This  brought  the  matter  to  an  issue.  Mr.  Jenkins,  who  was  "captain" 
of  the  Settlers'  Club,  addressed  the  meeting  and  delivered  an  ultimatum. 
Said  he:     "Men,  we  think  we  understand  you.     Now,  if  you  are  for  peace, 



we  are  for  peace;  but  if  you  are  for  war,  we  are  for  war,  by  G ,  sirsi 

Now,  you  get  off  from  this  land."     It  had  the  desired  effect.     None  of  the 
Bradshaw  party  settled  on  the  land  claimed  by  Doctor  Ballard. 

The  early  settlers  endured  many  hardships  and  privations.  There  was 
hardly  such  a  thing  as  sawed  lumber  in  the  settlement,  unless  it  was  a  wagon 
box  or  some  article  of  furniture  of  that  kind.  Nearly  everything,  except 
food  or  clothing,  required  for  use  had  to  be  hewed  from  the  forest  trees 
by  hand  work  with  axes,  saws,  etc.,  or  had  to  be  obtained  from  a  distance. 
There  were  neither  mills,  workshops  or  stores  here,  and  the  nearest  were 
many  miles  distant.  The  settlers  ground  corn,  buckwheat,  etc.,  in  hand 
mills,  or  grated  new  corn  as  a  substitute  for  meal.  On  one  occasion,  about 
1852,  the  supply  of  flour  and  meal  was  at  low  ebb.  Mr.  Jenkins  and  Ben- 
jamin Hyatt  took  a  load  of  corn  and  grain,  with  an  ox  team,  and  started 
for  mill  in  Missouri.  Their  route  was  down  the  Botna,  and  on  reaching 
Indian  Town  (near  Lewis)  they  met  a  company  of  Mormons,  who  were 
suffering  for  breadstuff,  who  requested  them  to  set  a  price  on  their  grain, 
for  they  must  have  it.  They  sold  the  load  at  two  dollars  and  a  half  a 
bushel  and  returned  home,  took  another  supply  of  grain  and  proceeded  to 
the  mill  in  Missouri.  On  arriving  there  they  were  told  that  there  was  a 
large  amount  of  custom  work  ahead  of  them,  and  that  their  grist  could  not 
be  ground  for  two  weeks,  but  they  persuaded  the  miller  to  grind  it  sooner. 

Jenkins  once  related  that  the  Democrats  here  during  war  times  prophe- 
sied that  the  "greenback"  and  United  States  bonds  would  become  worthless, 
as  continental  money  did  in  time  of  the  Revolution.  That  he  then  had  a 
few  hundred  dollars  surplus  money  which  he  desired  to  invest  for  safe- 
keeping. He  consulted  the  county  judge,  A.  B.  Houston,  Esq.,  for  advice, 
who  recommended  him  to  let  the  United  States  money  alone  and  to  invest  in 
Audubon  county  warrants,  then  worth  seventy-five  cents  on  the  dollar,  say- 
ing that  they  would  pay  six  per  cent  interest,  and  that  he  (Houston)  would 
assist  him  in  getting  them  cashed.  Afterwards  Mr.  Houston  was  elected 
county  treasurer,  and  occasionally  Jenkins  called  on  him  and  presented  his 
warrants  for  payment ;  but  there  were  always  other  demands  for  the  county 
revenue,  and  the  warrants  were  not  paid  during  Houston's  term  of  office, 
but  were  paid  by  his  successor,  Van  Gorder.  In  mentioning  the  matter 
years  afterward.  "Uncle  Johnny"  remarked:  "I  think  that  'App'  (Mr. 
Houston)    pulled  the  wool  over  my  eyes." 

It  does  not  appear  that  Mr.  Jenkins  made  any  profession  of  religion; 
but  that  he  was  liberal  in  religious  matters.  In  1865  Elder  Richard  C. 
Meek,  a  noted  preacher  in  his  day,  and  his  wife  visited  at  the  home  of  Mr. 


Jenkins  several  months,  and  while  there  held  family  religious  services  eve- 
ning and  morning.  At  bedtime  good  "Aunty  Meek"  would  bring  the  large 
Bible  and  place  it  before  the  elder,  who  would  read  a  portion  of  Scripture 
and  then  offered  a  prayer,  in  which  he  suggested,  "We  know  not  that  we 
shall  live  to  see  the  light  of  another  morning,"  etc.  Next  morning  he 
returned  thanks  for  protection  through  the  night,  and  again  referred  to  the 
uncertainty  of  life  and  recommended  preparation  for  the  future.  This  con- 
stant reference  at  prayer  time  to  the  uncertainty  of  life  went  on  with  con- 
tinual monotony  for  weeks,  to  the  annoyance  of  Mr.  Jenkins,  until  one  day 
the  elder  and  "Uncle  John"  took  a  stroll  together.  The  elder  made  the 
mistake  of  again  introducing  the  unwelcome  subject,  and  advising  the  pro- 
priety of  preparation  for  the  hereafter.  "Uncle  John"  called  a  halt 
abruptly.     Said  he :     "Elder  Meek,  if  you  are  going  to  die,  sir,  why  don't 

you  die  like  a  man,  and  not  be  dying  every  day  of  your  life,  like  a  d 

coward?"  He  was  a  life-long  Democrat;  was  elected  county  judge  in  1865 
and  held  the  office  one  year.  We  shall  have  occasion  to  notice  other  events 
in  his  career  at  other  parts  of  this  work.  He  died  at  Brayton  on  July  11, 
1886,  and  his  wife  died  on  March  10,  1882.  Their  children  were  as  follow: 
Benjamin  Franklin  married  Maria  Byrd  and  Josephine  Gilbert,  John  Taylor 
married  Darthula  Rogers,  Sarah  Blauset  married  Lee  L.  Bartlett,  Isaac 
Hughes  married  Clarissa  Chase  and  Mollie  Devine,  Harriet  married  George 
Cannon,   George  Washington  married  Caroline  Woody. 

Benjamin  Franklin  Jenkins  (son  of  John  S.),  came  to  Audubon  county 
with  his  father's  family  in  1851.  He  married,  first,  Maria  Byrd.  They 
were  divorced,  and  she  became  Mrs.  Joseph  C.  Yetzer,  of  Atlantic,  Iowa. 
For  his  second  wife  he  married  Josephine  Gilbert.  He  was  a  prominent 
farmer,  and  lived  near  Brayton,  Iowa.  He  was  a  member  of  the  board  of 
supervisors.  He  died  on  December  24,  1887;  his  wife  survived  him  and 
died  later.  To  Benjamin  and  Josephine  Jenkins  were  born  these  children: 
Olive,  who  married  Clarence  Keese  Hallock;  Charles  W.,  who  married  Eva 
Walker;  Hayden;  Margaret,  who  married  Charles  Sykes;  May,  who  mar- 
ried Ernest  Cotton,  and  Pearl. 

John  Taylor  Jenkins  (son  of  John  S.),  was  born  in  Meade  county, 
Kentucky,  November  14,  1838.  He  married,  in  Audubon  county,  on  Jan- 
uary 19,  1865.  Darthula,  daughter  of  Thomas  and  Sarah  Rodgers,  who 
was  born  in  IHinois.  He  came  to  Audubon  county  with  his  parents  in  1851. 
He  lived  at  home  with  his  parents  until  he  enlisted  in  the  Second  Iowa  Bat- 
tery on  August  19,  1 86 1,  and  served  in  the  Sixteenth,  Seventeenth  and 
Eighteenth  Army  Corps,  under  Generals   Pope,   McPherson,    Sherman  and 


Grant.  He  participated  in  the  battles  of  Corinth,  V^icksbiirg,  luka  and  Tu- 
pelo, and  was  mustered  out  on  September  4,  1864.  Upon  the  organization 
of  the  Audubon  county  militia,  the  same  year,  he  was  elected  second  lieu- 
tenant of  the  Audubon  Mounted  Infantry  company,  which  saw  no  service 
and  became  obsolete  at  the  close  of  the  war,  the  following  year.  Upon  the 
return  of  peace,  he  became  a  prominent  farmer  near  his  former  home,  and 
is  a  large  landowner.  He  was  proprietor  of  the  town  of  Brayton  in  1879, 
and  was  a  merchant  in  Brayton  from  1879  to  1887,  afterwards  being  a 
dealer  and  shipper  of  live  stock.  He  was  postmaster  at  Brayton.  A  life- 
long Republican,  he  has  been  an  active  worker  in  the  party,  and  many  times 
has  been  a  delegate  to  Republican  conventions.  He  has  served  as  township 
clerk,  township  trustee,  member  of  the  school  board  and  member  of  the 
board  of  supervisors.  He  has  a  fine  home  near  Brayton  and  is  the  last 
survivor  of  the  little  company  which  first  settled  in  Audubon  county  on 
May  6,  185 1.  He  is  a  member  of  Pymosa  Lodge  No.  18,  Ancient  Free 
and  Accepted  Masons;  Audubon  Lodge  No.  217,  Independent  Order  of 
Odd  Fellows,  and  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic. 

Mrs.  Jenkins  was  a  popular  school  teacher  before  marriage.  Their 
children,  born  in  Audubon  county,  are  as  follow :  Jeanette,  who  married 
Horace  M.  Bartlett ;  Marion  Elver,  who  married  Mame  Black,  now 
deceased,  and  Frank  Granger,  who  married  Josephine  Cypher. 

SAMUEL   M.    BALLARD,   M.    D. 

One  of  the  prominent  characters  in  the  early  settlement  of  Audubon 
county  was  Doctor  Samuel  M.  Ballard.  His  ancestors  were  said  to  have 
been  Virginia  Quakers.  In  youth  he  lived  in  Hillsboro,  Ohio,  where  he 
studied  medicine  under  a  preceptor  in  the  old-fashioned  way,  and  after- 
wards attended  medical  lectures,  perhaps  at  Cincinnati,  Ohio.  He  was  an 
incomparable  story  teller  and  a  delightful  companion  in  some  ways;  but 
some  incidents  of  his  life  as  told  by  himself  will  not,  in  the  light  of  moral- 
ity, bear  repetition.  He  once  related  an  amusing  incident  which  occurred 
during  his  early  medical  experience.  A  council  of  surgeons  were  convened 
to  perform  an  operation  upon  the  patient  of  his  preceptor,  and  through  his 
courtesy  the  student  (Ballard)  was  invited  to  attend  and  witness  the  case. 
A  lady,  who  acted  as  nurse,  prepared  the  room  for  the  occasion  and  notified 
the  surgeons  that  it  was  ready  for  their  reception.  They  proceeded  to  the 
room,  and  Ballard  followed  until  reaching  the  entrance  where  the  others 
had  preceded  him.     Upon  recognizing  him,  the  nurse  declined  to  let  him 


pass.  His  preceptor,  observing  the  interruption,  said  to  the  nurse :  "You 
may  admit  Doctor  Ballard."'  She  acquiesced,  but  in  a  deprecatory  tone 
remarked:  "Oh,  you  are  a  'stujent,'  are  ye?"  The  memory  of  that  event 
was  a  pleasing  recollection  to  the  old  doctor.  He  was  a  noble  specimen  of 
manhood — six  and  a  half  feet  in  stature,  and  of  powerful  physique,  a  ver- 
itable giant.  His  presence  was  at  once  noticeable,  even  in  the  largest  assem- 
bly. In  early  life  his  hair  had  been  sandy;  his  eyes  were  flashing  blue,  with 
an  eagle  gaze,  and  one  of  them  was  blind.  When  the  writer  first  saw  him, 
in  1865,  his  hair  and  long  flowing  beard  were  snowy  white.  He  v/as  a 
self-made  man,  largely;  not  classically  educated  and  never  a  student  of 
books.  His  stock  of  sound,  practical  common  sense  was  varied  and  exten- 
sive. He  was  a  thorough  business  man  of  the  world  among  pioneers.  His 
reputation  as  a  skillful,  successful  physician  rested  upon  his  own  personal 
experience,  rather  than  upon  any  book  knowledge.  But  few  facts  concern- 
ing his  life  have  been  recorded  in  print.  No  biography  of  him  has  been 
discovered.  He  once  related  that  he  came  down  the  Ohio  river  on  a  steam- 
boat to  St.  Louis;  thence  up  the  Mississippi  river  to  Iowa.  He  was  engaged 
in  the  practice  of  medicine  at  Iowa  City  as  early  as  1842,  and  there  he 
established  an  extensive,  lucrative  business.  He  said  that  he  kept  relays  of 
saddle  horses  to  carry  him  about  the  country ;  that  he  would  start  from 
Iowa  City  and  ride  north  several  miles;  thence  west  to  Oxford,  and  south 
to  the  settlements  on  English  river;  thence  east  and  north  again  to  West 
Liberty  and  then  home,  after  visiting  and  prescribing  for  patients  along  the 
route;  that  he  made  such  trips  in  a  single  day  and  night  and  often  rode 
asleep  in  the  saddle ;  that  for  weeks  at  a  time  he  slept  but  four  hours  out 
of  twenty-four  on  an  average,  sometimes  falling  asleep  in  the  saddle  against 
his  will  power  to  keep  awake.  On  such  occasions  as  he  was  able  to  go  to 
bed,  he  would  order  that  he  be  permitted  to  sleep  but  for  a  half  hour,  then 
to  be  awakened  at  all  hazards  by  dragging  him  from  bed  and  throwing  cold 
water  in  his  face.  He  would  then  eat  something  and  drink  some  coffee, 
and  proceed  to  the  next  patient,  taking  another  short  sleep  when  wearied 
nature  would  resist  no  longer.  His  fees  sometimes  exceeded  two  hundred 
dollars  in  a  day.  He  was  a  wealthy  man  before  coming  to  Audubon  county. 
He  came  to  Audubon  county  in  1851,  and  his  meeting  with  "Uncle  Johnny" 
Jenkins  is  told  in  another  part  of  this  work. 

Doctor  Ballard  owned  thousands  of  acres  of  the  best  timber  and  prairie 
lands  in  what  is  now  Exira  and  Oakfield  townships,  and  adjoining,  in  Cass 
county.  His  dwelling,  situated  in  section  25,  Oakfield  township,  was  a  very 
common  aft'air.     It  stood  in  an  open  space  in  the  timber  on  the  north  side 


of  the  old  state  road  leading  south  from  his  dwelling  place,  and  was  a 
one-story  building,  boarded  up  and  down  with  rough,  undressed  oak  boards, 
fattened,  unpainted  and  unplastered.  It  would  not  have  been  supposed  by 
strangers  that  it  was  the  abode  of  the  richest  man  in  the  county.  Every- 
thing about  the  house  was  of  the  most  common  kind,  there  being  neither 
fine  furniture,  books  or  anything  to  indicate  elegance,  refinement,  luxury 
or  wealth,  except  the  lands.  Mrs.  Ballard  did  not  come  to  the  country  until 
1855,  and  remained  here  but  a  short  time,  when  she  moved  to  Council 
Bluffs,  and  was  maintained  there  is  good  style  the  remainder  of  her  life. 
The  relation  which  existed  between  the  Doctor  and  Mrs.  Ballard  was  never 
understood  by  outsiders,  but  probably  was  not  congenial.  Hon.  William  P. 
Hepburn,  who  was  intimately  acquainted  with  the  family  at  Iowa  City, 
recently  told  the  writer  that  the  Doctor  and  Mrs.  Ballard  were  members  of 
the  Universalist  church  in  Iowa  City,  and  further  related  that  on  one  occa- 
sion Mrs.  Ballard  told  him  that  she  once  believed  she  was  a  Universalist, 
but  that  she  doubted  if  God  would  pardon  or  save  so  wicked  a  man  as 
Doctor  Ballard.  Evidently  she  was  aware  of  his  wrong-doings.  In  his 
last  sickness  Mrs.  Ballard  came  to  his  residence  and  cared  for  him  several 
days  until  he  was  moved  to  her  home  in  Council  Bluffs,  where  he  soon  died. 
The  house  above  mentioned  was  claimed  by  him  as  his  home  and  domicile, 
and  he  voted  in  Oakfield  township  until  his  death.  Many  families  lived 
there  and  kept  house  for  him,  among  whom  were  Benjamin  M.  Hyatt, 
Samuel  Smith,  Stephen  T.  Campbell,  Milton  Heath  and  others  in  early 
times,  and  many  others  afterwards. 

Large  areas  of  Doctor  Ballard's  lands  in  Audubon  and  Cass  counties 
were  in  cultivated  farms,  with  the  cheapest  kind  of  dwellings  and  buildings 
upon  them.  It  was  a  small  principality,  partaking  the  appearance  of  ancient 
times,  when  such  estates  were  tenanted  by  serfs  and  peasants,  rather  than 
a  modern,  up-to-date  American  settlement.  His  pastures  were  filled  with 
large  herds  of  fine  cattle,  and  droves  of  hogs.  He  received  large  quantities 
of  corn  and  grain  from  his  tenants.  He  erected  a  saw-mill  near  his  resi- 
dence about  1855-56,  and  got  out  considerable  lumber  from  his  own  timber 
and  for  his  neighbors,  until  after  the  railroad  came  to  Atlantic,  about  1869. 
While  surrounded  by  such  wealth  and  advantages,  he  was  unpopular  with 
his  neighbors.  He  was  not  a  public-spirited  citizen,  his  ambition  being  to 
accumulate  lands  and  property  for  his  own  selfish  aggrandizement,  along 
the  primitive  methods  indicated.  He  did  nothing  for  the  upbuilding  of  his 
neighbors,  or  of  the  community  in  which  he  dwelt,  consequently  he  had  no 
friends,  even  among  his  kindred.     He  lived  hermit-like,  not  allowing  him- 


self  a  respectable  subsistence,  considering  his  wealth;  only  providing  for 
himself  the  bare  necessities  of  life,  food  and  raiment.  Such  methods  of 
existence  failed  to  enlist  the  favorable  opinions  of  the  people  among  whom 
he  resided.  In  business  affairs  he  was  disagreeable  and  a  hard  man  to  deal 
with.  He  constantly  differed  and  quarreled  with  his  tenants,  hired  help 
and  others  who  dealt  with  him.  It  was  said  that  he  was  a  hard  master  to 
his  sons. 

He  complained  of  losing  many  cattle  and  hogs  by  thieves,  and  to  have 
lost  large  amounts  of  wood  and  timber  by  trespassers.  Once,  when  riding 
with  him  near  Oakfield,  a  man  was  met  with  a  load  of  shoats.  The  Doctor 
stopped  and  claimed  them.  The  driver  said  he  was  delivering  them  to  a 
man  whom  he  named.  The  Doctor  said  he  had  not  sold  any  hogs  to  that 
man,  and  directed  him  to  return  them  to  his  place,  and  not  take  away  any 
more  without  his  order.  The  depredations  became  so  flagrant  that  he  was 
obliged  to  dispose  of  all  the  live  stock  on  his  estate.  He  negotiated  the 
sale  of  all  his  cattle,  and  they  were  turned  into  the  woods  pasture  south  of 
the  Ballard  bridge,  temporarily,  for  delivery  a  few  days  later.  On  the 
day  of  delivery,  fifty  head  of  the  cattle  had  disappeared,  and  no  trace  of 
them  could  be  discovered.  It  was  supposed  that  some  of  the  Doctor's 
agents  had  made  away  with  them.  After  he  became  too  old  and  feeble  to 
superintend  his  business,  for  several  years  large  amounts  of  boards  from 
his  fences  were  stolen  and  carried  away.  A  barn  was  discovered  near  his 
estate  built  from  such  lumber,  the  marks  on  the  boards  plainly  showing 
where  they  had  been  fastened  to  fence  posts.  The  owner  of  the  barn  was 
accused  of  the  theft,  and  admitted  that  he  had  bought  the  boards  from  an 
agent  of  the  Doctor;  but  he  reluctantly  paid  for  them,  saying  that  the  money 
he  paid  was  part  of  that  stolen  from  the  Doctor  when  he  was  robbed  at 
his  residence  in  1882-83,  as  hereafter  related.  In  the  fall  of  1882  it  was 
discovered  where  nine  of  the  Doctor's  fat  hogs  had  been  stolen,  killed  in 
the  timber  and  carried  away.  It  was  supposed  they  went  into  the  pork  bar- 
rels of  his  neighbors. 

During  the  last  winter  of  his  life,  1882-83,  while  sick  and  confined  to 
his  bed  at  his  residence,  one  night  two  robbers,  Northgrave  and  Van  Winkle, 
as  was  afterwards  learned,  entered  the  house,  broke  open  his  bedroom,  and 
robbed  him  of  about  two  thousand  seven  hundred  dollars  in  money,  which 
the  Doctor  had  negligently  allowed  to  accumulate  in  the  house,  the  pro- 
ceeds of  rents  collected,  etc.,  which  was  contained  in  a  leather  valise  near 
his  bed.  The  robber  seized  the  valise  containing  the  money  and  was  about 
getting  away  with  it  when  the  Doctor  sprang  from  the  bed,  grasped  the 


retreating  robber  around  the  legs,  felled  him  to  the  floor  and  shouted  for 
help.  The  only  other  persons  in  the  house  at  the  time  were  the  wife  of  the 
Doctor's  hired  man  and  two  boys.  The  latter  fled,  but  the  lady  was  plucky 
and  came  to  the  rescue,  beating  the  robbers  with  a  club.  In  the  struggle 
the  robber  kicked  himself  loose  and  the  Doctor  was  seriously  injured  in 
the  encounter,  trying  to  defend  his  property;  but  the  robber  escaped  with 
the  booty.  The  Doctor  at  once  sent  to  Exira  for  his  attorney,  H.  F.  An- 
drews, who  promptly  responded,  although  it  was  a  bitter  cold  night,  taking 
Richard  W.  Griggs  along  with  him.  On  arriving  at  the  residence  of  the 
Doctor,  several  of  his  neighbors,  having  learned  of  the  outrage,  were  assem- 
bled there.  The  Doctor  privately  informed  the  lawyers  that  he  believed  he  had 
a  clue  to  the  robbers,  who  had  not  then  been  identified;  that  in  the  struggle 
with  the  one  he  had  attacked  he  had  torn  off  his  suspenders  and  a  button 
with  a  strip  of  cloth  attached,  which  he  still  possessed,  and  proceeded  to 
produce  it  from  under  his  pillow.  The  trophy  was  examined  and  it  was 
thought  it  might  lead  to  the  identity  of  the  culprits.  Next  morning  the 
tracks  of  the  robbers  and  their  horses  were  discovered  in  the  snow.  With 
a  team  driven  by  Joseph  Doner,  the  Doctor's  hired  man,  Mr.  Andrews  and 
Mr.  Griggs  followed  the  trail  several  miles  into  Cass  county,  when  a  snow 
storm  obliterated  the  tracks  and  the  trail  was  lost.  Returning  to  the  Doc- 
tor's place,  the  captured  suspenders  and  bit  of  cloth  were  again  examined. 
It  was  thought  that  the  cloth  looked  familiar  and  resembled  the  pants  usu- 
ally worn  by  the  Doctor  and  which  usually  hung  near  his  bed.  Search  was 
made  for  them  without  success  and  it  was  concluded  that  the  robber  had 
also  stolen  the  Doctor's  pants,  and  that  the  Doctor  had  pulled  off  the  sus- 
penders from  his  own  pants  in  the  struggle  with  him.  which  in  the  end 
proved  true.  The  stolen  valise  and  the  pants  were  afterward  found  together 
not  far  from  the  residence,  where  they  had  been  left  by  some  one  other 
than  the  robbers.  In  following  the  trail  of  the  escaped  robbers,  the  saddle 
cloth  of  one  of  them,  which  had  been  lost  by  them,  was  fortunately  dis- 
covered, and  it  subsequently  led  to  their  identity;  other  facts  developed 
which  identified  them  beyond  reasonable  doubt.  It  appeared  that  others 
were  associated  with  them  and  that  the  money  was  divided  between  the 
gang  of  villains  who  participated  in  the  nefarious  affair.  One  man  who 
was  killed  in  the  county  soon  afterwards  was  said  to  have  received  a  fine 
span  of  horses  for  taking  the  rogues  from  the  county.  The  principal  rob- 
bers soon  left  the  community,  but  the  money  was  never  recovered.  Doctor 
Ballard  soon  went  to  Council  Bluffs  and  died  there  shortly  afterward. 
Nothing  further  was  done  about  the  crime.     Near  the  time  of  his  death,  the 


Doctor  informed  the  writer  that  the  amount  of  his  losses  by  thieves,  tres- 
passers, robbers,  etc.,  in  the  past  twenty  years  would  aggregate  fully  twenty 
thousand  dollars.  And  he  also  said :  "Andrews,  I  am  living  a'mong  the 

Hon.  William  F.  Smith,  late  of  Farrall,  Wyoming,  a  few  years  since 
described  some  scenes  in  the  home  life  of  Doctor  Ballard.  He  said:  "In 
1854  Dr.  S.  M.  Ballard  came  from  Iowa  to  Ohio  to  place  his  sons,  Byron 
and  Osceola,  in  school,  and  while  my  parents  were  visiting  the  family  of 
Frederick  Ballard  they  met  the  Doctor.  I  should  say  that  one  of  the  objects 
of  the  Doctor's  visit  was  to  purchase  machinery  for  a  saw-mill.  My  par- 
ents were  wanting  to  locate  where  land  was  cheap  and  secure  a  home.  Doc- 
tor Ballard  gave  a  very  glowing  account  of  Iowa,  and  of  Audubon  county 
in  particular,  and  offered  them  work  at  good  wages  until  they  could 
establish  a  home  of  their  own,  which  was  accepted.  So,  in  the  spring  of 
1854,  we  started  down  the  Ohio  river  by  way  of  St.  Louis,  and  then  up  the 
Missouri  river  to  Council  Bluffs,  Iowa.  On  account  of  low  water,  we  were 
a  long  time  making  the  trip,  and  then  went  to  Doctor  Ballard's  place  with 
teams.  We  had  expected  to  find  a  fine,  large  house  in  good  shape ;  but  the 
house  was  a  small  log  cabin  of  one  room,  eighteen  Iw  eighteen  feet,  and  he 
had  a  fairly  large  log  barn,  where  the  men  slept.  When  we  arrived  there, 
my  brothers  and  myself  went  to  the  house  and  looked  in  at  the  door  and 
the  sight  gave  us  a  fright.  The  doctor  was  eating  his  supper  out  a  pan, 
and  a  woman,  one  of  Mr.  Hyatt's  family,  was  waiting  on  him.  The  Doctor 
spoke  to  us  in  a  loud  voice  and  said :  "Come  in.  boys."  But  when  we  saw 
those  long  white  whiskers  and  the  strange  surroundings  we  beat  a  hasty 
retreat  for  the  wagons  and  told  what  we  had  seen.  Our  parents  had  to  tell 
the  Doctor  about  it.  and  we  had  a  good  laugh  over  it.  We  stopped  at  the 
Doctor's  place.  My  father  worked  on  the  farm  and  my  mother  and  sisters 
cooked  for  hired  help.  That  fall  my  folks  and  the  Doctor  disagreed,  and 
we  quit  him  and  moved  to  "Uncle  Johnny"  Jenkins's  house,  and  soon  after- 
ward to  Jimmy  Bird's  place  in  Cass  county,  where  we  lived  that  winter. 
Early  the  next  spring  we  went  back  to  the  Doctor's  place.  The  machinery 
for  the  saw-mill  had  arrived,  ^^^ith  the  farmhands  and  our  own  family  and 
the  mill  crew,  my  poor  mother  and  sisters  had  to  work  early  and  late  to 
cook  and  wash  for  the  outfit,  making  butter  and  caring  for  the  milk  from 
several  cows.  etc.  The  Doctor  had  put  up  several  other  buildings,  so  we 
had  more  room.  ]\Iyself  and  brothers  and  the  hired  men  slept  in  the  hay- 
mow above  the  horses.     *     *     *     About  this  period  the  wife  and   family 


of   Doctor   Ballard   came   out    from    Iowa   Gity   to   the    farm   in   Audubon 
county.    (The  sons  of  Doctor  Ballard  came  to  Audubon  county  in   1852.) 

Doctor  Ballard  was  lirst  receiver  of  the  United  States  land  office  at 
Kanesville  (Council  Bluffs),  Iowa,  in  1853.  It  is  said  that  he  once  carried 
a  large  amount  of  public  funds  in  specie  from  Kanesville  to  Iowa  City 
in  the  false  bottom  of  his  bugg}^  to  conceal  it  and  escape  robbery.  He  was 
one  of  the  proprietors  of  the  Council  Bluffs  and  Nebraska  Ferry  Company 
in  1853-54.  He  was  a  Whig,  and  a  prominent  man.  The  lozi'a  Standard 
was  begun  in  1841  at  Iowa  City,  and  suspended  publication  in  1848.  It 
was  bought  about  that  time  by  Doctor  Ballard,  the  name  changed  to  the 
Iowa  City  Republican,  and  he  continued  its  publication  as  the  Whig  organ 
of  the  party  in  Iowa.  Among  those  employed  on  the  paper  were  William 
P.  Hepburn,  Tom  Ballard,  a  natural  son  of  the  Doctor;  Clay  Johnson,  and 
others.  We  are  not  fully  advised  as  to  the  history  of  the  paper  under  the 
management  of  Ballard,  or  when  he  severed  his  connection  with  it. 

Ballard  was  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Republican  party  in  Iowa, 
along  with  such  men  as  Grimes,  Lowe,  Kirkwood  and  others  of  that  period. 
He  was  a  member  of  the  Republic  state  central  committee  in  1856.  In  1859 
he  appears  on  the  ticket  for  representative.  He  was  of  ability  to  have  graced 
high  political  offices,  but  does  not  appear  to  have  sought  such  preferment. 
He  was  patriotic  and  a  sound  Union  man  during  the  war,  so  far  as  his 
voice  and  vote  went,  but  did  not  contribute  financially  to  the  party  cam- 
paign expenses  while  residing  in  Audubon  county.  He  sometimes  attended 
state,  district  and  county  conventions  as  a  delegate.  During  the  war  at 
one  time  he  was  sent  by  Governor  Kirkwood  on  some  mission  to  the  Iowa 
soldiers  in  the  army  down  the  Mississippi  river. 

A  remarkable  instance  occurred  in  the  Republican  state  convention  of 
1875,  when  Doctor  Ballard  was  chiefly  responsible  for  the  nomination  of 
Hon.  Samuel  J.  Kirkwood  for  governor  for  the  third  term.  Probably  no 
man  ever  went  into  a  convention  more  confident  of  success  than  did  Hon. 
James  B.  Weaver  on  that  occasion.  Pie  had  been  a  brilliant,  gallant  soldier, 
was  justly  popular  as  a  politician,  especially  with  the  old  soldier  element  of 
the  party,  and  richly  deserved  the  office  as  governor  of  Iowa.  Doctor  Bal- 
lard was  a  delegate  to  the  convention.  He  and  some  of  the  old-guard 
Republicans  did  not  take  kindly  to  the  candidacy  of  General  Weaver,  or, 
perhaps.  Weaver  did  not  sufficiently  court  their  support.  Their  importance 
and  influence  was  probably  overlooked,  or  not  properly  considered.  Some 
of  the  old-timers  decided  to  give  Kirkwood  a  complimentary  vote  for  gov- 
ernor.    When  the  nominations  came  on,  and  after  the  name  of  Weaver  had 


been  presented  as  a  candidate,  Doctor  Ballard  arose,  a  majestic  figure,  with 
snowy-white  hair,  long  flowing  beard  and  eagle  eye,  his  giant  form  tower- 
ing above  the  assembly.  With  his  powerful,  leonine  voice,  he  announced : 
"I  nominate  for  governor  that  old  war  boss,  Sam  J.  Kirkwood."  The  mag- 
ical effect  attracted  every  eye  and  ear  present.  An  alert  supporter  of  Gen- 
eral Weaver  demanded :  "By  what  authority  does  the  gentleman  from 
Audubon  present  the  name  of  Governor  Kirkwood?"  Others  shouted: 
"Governor  Kirkwood  is  not  a  candidate.  He  won't  have  the  office,"  etc. 
The  Doctor  impressively  responded :  "By  authority  of  the  great  Republican 
party  of  Iowa."  The  psychological  effect  produced  was  instantaneous. 
That  patriarchical  figure  and  voice  in  the  midst  of  Iowa's  sons  assembled 
won  the  contest  beyond  recall,  and  Kirkwood  was  promptly  nominated,  to 
the  disappointment  and  chagrin  of  General  Weaver  and  his  followers. 
Never  has  a  parallel  to  that  act,  of  such  momentous  importance,  occurred 
in  the  political  history  of  Iowa.  The  shock  was  directed  by  the  extempo- 
raneous act  of  a  single  man — Doctor  Ballard.  It  was  a  powerfully  dra- 
matic scene,  which  arose  spontaneously,  without  preparation,  on  the  spur 
of  the  moment. 

Who  can  say  that  but  for  this  act  of  Doctor  Ballard,  Hon.  James  B. 
Weaver  would  not  have  continued  an  ornament  to  the  Republican  party. 

Many  years  ago,  at  the  Walker  house  in  Audubon,  during  court  time. 
Doctor  Ballard,  Judge  Reed,  Judge  Maxwell,  the  writer  and  others  were 
having  a  pleasant  evening  together.  The  Doctor,  being  in  a  reminiscent 
mood,  related  a  thrilling  account  of  the  experience  of  himself  and  "Uncle" 
John  Jenkins,  who  were  once  lost  in  a  snowstorm  while  out  hunting.  The 
story  ran  substantially  in  this  way :  "In  December,  1852,  the  United  States 
surveyors,  including  myself,  were  camped  at  Blue  Grass  Grove  engaged 
in  sudividing  township  80,  range  35  (now  Leroy  township).  My  friend, 
John  S.  Jenkins,  and  his  son  John  came  up  from  Big  Grove  to  our  camp 
for  a  hunt  with  me,  game  being  plentiful.  We  two  started  off  together, 
westward  from  camp.  During  the  day  a  heavy  snowstorm  came  on ;  we 
got  bewildered,  lost  all  idea  of  direction  and  wandered  around  long  into  the 
night,  completely  lost.  At  one  time  we  heard  a  strange  noise  near  us,  as  of 
many  large  animals  running  through  the  snow,  making  the  peculiar  whist- 
ling sound  of  the  elk  when  startled.  We  supposed  we  had  run  into  and 
startled  a  band  of  those  animals,  but  it  was  too  dark  to  see  them.  (The 
writer  has  heard  this  sound  made  by  elk.  By  old  hunters  it  is  called 
'Bugling,'  and  is  made  by  the  bull  elk  as  a  challenge  or  note  of  defiance.  It 
is  a  peculiar  sound  and  somewhat  resembles  the  notes  of  a  bugle.)      Con- 


tinuing  our  tramp  later  into  the  night,  we  entered  a  brush  patch  and  stopped 
to  rest,  being  tired  out  and  hungry.  Mr.  Jenkins  was  in  worse  pHght  than 
myself  and  complained  that  his  feet  were  hurting  him.  I  suspected  that 
his  feet  were  frozen,  which  afterwards  proved  to  be  the  case.  We  gathered 
fuel  and  started  a  fire.  Mr.  Jenkins  proposed  to  remove  his  boots  and 
examine  his  feet;  but  I  persuaded  him  not  to  do  so,  as  he  would  have  dififi- 
cutly  in  putting  them  on  again.  We  made  a  bed  of  brush  and  dried  grass 
and  he  laid  down  and  slept,  while  T  watched  and  tended  the  fire.  Towards 
morning  the  clouds  parted  and  I  got  a  fair  view  of  the  Great  Handled  Dip- 
per and  the  North  star,  and  so  fixed  the  direction  in  my  mind.  When  morn- 
ing came  it  was  still  cloudy  and  the  sun  was  obscured  all  day.  Jenkins 
awoke  very  much  discouraged,  still  complaining  of  his  feet,  and  expressed 
doubt  that  we  should  ever  reach  home  again.  I  tried  to  encourage  him  and 
pointed  out  the  direction  I  thought  we  should  travel.  He  disputed  me  and 
said  he  thought  we  should  travel  in  nearly  the  opposite  course.  I  said, 
'There  is  north,'  pointing,  as  I  believed,  in  that  direction.  He  had  no  idea 
that  I  knew  the  direction  any  better  than  he  did,  and  he  replied :  'And 
who  in  h — ,  sir,  told  \-(m  that  was  north?'  I  explained  to  him  of  my  see- 
ing the  North  star  while  he  had  slept,  and  he  cooled  down,  but  apparently 
not  convinced  and  despondent;  said  we  were  lost  beyond  hope  of  discovery; 
that  no  one  would  know  where  to  search  for  us,  and  that  if  anyone 
attempted  to  find  us  there  was  hardly  a  chance  of  success,  and  that  he 
believed  we  must  perish.  I  urged  that  w^e  should  succeed  by  following  the 
course  I  suggested.  He  admitted  that  he  was  in  dou1)t  what  direction  we 
ought  to  travel,  and  finally  consented  to  follow  me  that  day,  but  did  not 
hope  to  succeed.  We  took  up  the  march  tow'ards  the  east,  as  it  afterwards 
proved.  W^e  came  out  on  what  must  have  been  the  main  divide  between  the 
w^aters  of  the  East  and  \\'est  Botna  rivers,  and  there  Mr.  Jenkins  rebelled 
and  became  more  obstinate  than  before.  He  insisted  we  were  traveling  the 
wrong  direction,  and  that  w^e  should  change  our  course  and  proceed  north- 
west along  the  divide.  I  was  confident  we  w^ere  on  the  right  course,  Imt 
pleaded  with  him  in  vain.  We  shook  hands,  parted,  and  each  pursued  his 
chosen  course,  he  to  the  northwest,  along  the  divide,  and  I  took  a  south- 
east course  down  a  ridge,  until  nearly  out  of  sight  of  each  other,  when, 
turning  to  take  a  parting  look  at  him,  I  saw  him  wave  his  hat.  I  made  a 
similar  response  and  waited  for  him  to  return.  When  he  joined  me  he 
said  he  had  forgotten  his  promise  to  follow  during  the  day,  apologized  and 
promised  to  make  his  word  good.  We  proceeded  again  until  Mr.  Jenkins 
became  more  discouraged  and  complained.     I  carried  his  rifle  to  relieve  him 


and  took  him  by  the  arm  to  encourage  him  to  proceed.  Late  in  the  after- 
noon, in  crossing  a  slough,  his  feet  became  entangled  in  the  long,  wet  grass, 
matted  down  by  the  heavy  snow,  and  he  fell.  I  offered  to  assist  him  to 
arise,  but  he  refused;  said  it  was  useless;  that  we  were  lost  beyond  help; 
that  his  feet  were  used  up;  that  we  were  without  food  or  fire  and  must 
perish;  that  he  might  as  well  stop  where  he  was  to  punish  himself  by 
attempting  to  travel  farther.  I  stooped  down  and  struck  him  a  smart  blow 
with  the  back  of  my  hand  on  his  face.  The  effect  was  instantaneous.  He 
sprang  to  his  feet  like  a  steel  trap  and  demanded  why  I  had  insulted  him. 
I  told  him  it  was  to  show  him  that  he  was  not  so  near  dead  as  he  imagined, 
and  that  I  had  proved  it.  He  accepted  my  explanation  and  we  again  pro- 
ceeded. Upon  reaching  the  top  of  another  ridge  I  thought  the  surrounding 
country  and  lay  of  the  land  looked  familiar.  I  believed  we  were  in  the 
vicinity  of  our  camp  and  so  informed  my  companion.  I  then  remembered 
my  dog,  a  favorite  white  hound,  who  was  at  the  camp,  and  told  Mr.  Jen- 
kins that  if  I  could  make  'Zack'  hear  my  voice  he  would  come  to  us.  So  I 
began  to  shout  and  halloo,  long  and  loud,  and  kept  it  up.  Soon  I  heard 
the  hound  bay  and  called  the  attention  of  Mr.  Jenkins  to  it,  but  he  was  not 
convinced.  He  said  we  could  not  be  near  camp,  and  that  i  must  have  heard 
a  wolf  howl.  But  soon  the  dog  came  over  the  hill  in  full  cry.  I  saw  him, 
with  the  black  spot  on  his  head,  coming  towards  us,  and  no  mistake,  and 
he  soon  reached  us,  plainly  expressing  his  pleasure  at  seeing  us.  A  little 
later  Uncle  Ben  Hyatt,  our  cook,  came  following  on  the  dog's  track.  When 
he  got  near  enough  I  shouted  for  him  to  hurry  back  to  camp  and  prepare 
some  food  for  us.  Uncle  John  clasped  the  dog  around  the  neck  and  burst 
into  tears,  and  ever  afterwards  declared  that  the  dog  saved  our  lives." 

I  had  previously  heard  the  Doctor  tell  the  story,  and  Mr.  Jenkins  had 
also  told  it  to  me.  When  the  Doctor's  narrative  was  finished  and  his  hear- 
ers had  expressed  their  appreciation.  I  said  to  him :  "Doctor,  I  think  you 
told  the  story  to  a  party  of  gentlemen  at  Exira  several  years  ago."  "Why 
do  you  say  so?"  said  he.  "Since  I  first  heard  you  tell  it,  I  have  heard  Mr. 
Jenkins  tell  it."  "And  don't  he  tell  it  as  I  do?"  "Yes,  with  one  excep- 
tion." "And  what  is  that?"  "He  didn't  mention  that  you  slapped  him  in 
the  face."  "But  I  did,"  said  the  Doctor.  John  T.  Jenkins,  of  Brayton,  says 
that  he  was  at  the  camp  at  the  time  mentioned  and  well  remembers  the  inci- 
dent. He  says  that  the  people  at  the  camp,  Ben  Hyatt,  Byron  Ballard,  the 
Doctor's  son,  and  others,  were  alarmed  for  the  safety  of  his  father  and  the 
Doctor,  and  were  anxiously  hoping  all  day  for  their  return;  that  old  "Zack" 
was  uneasy  and  whined  at  times,  and  that  all  of  a  sudden  he  bawled  out  and 


broke  away  from  camp  on  the  run  over  the  hills.  No  one  in  camp  had 
heard  the  Doctor's  call,  but  the  dog  evidently  had  a  keener  ear,  and  dashed 
away  to  find  his  lost  master.  Neither  of  the  participants  knew  exactly 
where  their  wanderings  had  taken  them. 

The  writer  surveyed  land  in  this  county  for  years  in  earlier  times  and 
became  well  acquainted  with  the  lands  in  the  west  part  of  the  county  where 
this  adventure  took  place.  There  used  to  be  a  little  clump  of  hickory  sap- 
lings in  a  deep  ravine  near  the  line  between  Douglas  and  Sharon  townships 
near  the  west  part  of  the  county,  which  was,  perhaps,  the  spot  where  Bal- 
lard and  Jenkins  stopped  on  the  night  as  related.  Mr.  Jenkins  more  than 
onc/j  referred  to  this  adventure  with  gratitude  towards  Doctor  Ballard,  and 
invariably  expressed  liis  belief  that  the  Doctor  had  saved  his  life  on  that 
occasion.  He  was  financially  interested  with  Captain  Perry  and  the  Hen- 
dersons in  contracts  for  the  survey  of  several  townships  of  government 
lands  in  Audubon  county  and  perhaps  elsewhere.  His  son  Byron  was  actu- 
ally engaged  in  the  work  as  flagman  and  chainman.  The  Doctor  was  prob- 
ably overseer  of  the  working  party. 

During  the  last  winter  of  his  life  he  spoke  about  his  son,  "Bolly,"  as 
he  was  familiarly  called,  and,  like  King  David  of  old.  lamenting  over  his 
son  Absalom,  said  that  he  could  be  a  prince  if  he  would  be,  intimating  that 
he  would  be  pleased  for  him  to  have  the  home  place,  but  feared  that  if  he 
should  give  it  to  him  he  would  squander  it.  He  suggested  that  there  might 
be  some  of  his  descendants  some  time  who  might  make  good  use  of  his 
property,  if  he  only  knew  to  whom  to  leave  it.  The  terms  of  his  will  indi- 
cate that  it  was  perhaps  framed  with  such  ideas  in  view.  He  left  a  hand- 
some estate.  Besides  his  lands  and  property  here,  he  had  large  possessions 
in  other  places.  At  his  death  he  gave  his  son  Osceola  a  life  estate  in  four 
hundred  acres  of  land  in  Cass  county,  which  he  soon  lost.  To  his  daughter, 
Mrs.  Robinson,  he  gave  a  life  estate  in  nearly  two  thousand  acres  of  land 
near  Marne,  Iowa,  with  remainder  to  her  children  after  her  death.  The 
residue  of  his  fortune  went  to  his  wife.  The  home  place  here  has  passed 
entirely  out  of  possession  of  his  descendants.  Doctor  Ballard  was  unfor- 
tunate in  his  family.  Byron  was  killed  by  the  falling  of  a  tree ;  Eugene  was 
drowned,  and  two  daughters  died  young.  He  was  the  first  senior  warden 
of  Iowa  City  Lodge  No.  4.  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  which  was 
chartered  on  January  8.   1844. 

Old  settlers  will  recall  the  heroic  figure  of  the  old  Doctor,  with  his 
black  plug  hat.  mounted  on  his  favorite  saddle  horse.  "Old  Tige."  as  he.  in 
former  times,  rode  about  the  county.     He  died  at  Council  BlufTs  in  1883. 


Mrs.  Ballard  survived  him,  but  has  been  dead  many  years.  Their  children 
were :  Byron,  unmarried ;  Virginia,  who  married  George  Robinson  and  is 
dead;  Osceola  is  dead;  Oletippe  and  another  daughter  are  both  dead. 


David  Edgerton  visited  Audubon  county  with  Nathaniel  Hamlin  and 
others  in  March,  1851,  and  settled  here  in  1852.  His  first  residence  was  a 
log  cabin  on  lot  5,  in  section  3,  Exira  township.  He  had  the  title  to  the 
land  upon  which  the  town  of  Exira  was  laid  and  was  nominal  proprietor 
of  the  town;  but  Judge  Daniel  M.  Harris  was  real  owner  of  the  undivided 
one-half  thereof,  and  conducted  the  business  of  laying  out  and  platting  the 
town.  Mr.  Edgerton  owned  considerable  other  lands  contiguous  to  Exira. 
He  reserved  all  of  block  4,  Exira,  for  his  home,  upon  which  he  erected  his 
dwelling  house  and  the  present  old  barn  on  the  same  block.  Part  of  his 
old  dwelling  is  now  embraced  in  the  present  residence  of  Mrs.  Sturgeon, 
which,  with  the  old  barn,  all  on  the  same  block,  are  owned  by  Mrs.  Stur- 
geon. Mr.  Edgerton  sold  out  in  1867,  and  he  and  his  family  went  to 


Reuljen  Carpenter  came  to  Audubon  county  in  1852  and  settled  in  sec- 
tion 35,  Exira  township.  He  sold  out  there  in  1853  to  William  H.  H.  Bowen 
and  moved  to  section  18,  Audubon  township.  His  children  were,  Elijah, 
William  (who  married  Martha  Johnston),  George,  John,  David,  Henry,  and 
several  daughters. 


Alilton  Heath,  a  carpenter  and  farmer,  married  Elizabeth  Parent.  He 
cam,e  from  Fort  Wayne,  Indiana,  in  1852,  and  lived  first  on  Doctor  Bal- 
lard's place ;  then  moved  a  mile  west  of  Ballard  bridge,  where  he  built  a 
dwelling,  made  of  poles  covered  with  hay.  He  went  to  Shelby  county  in 
1855,  and  there  laid  out  the  now  obsolete  town  of  Simoda.  He  went  back 
to  Indiana  in  i860,  returned  to  Audubon  county  in  1869,  and  lived  about 
Oakfield  and  other  places.  He  was  a  Republican.  He  died  in  1897,  and 
his  wife  died  in  1873.  Their  children  were:  Hiram,  referred  to  in  the 
following  paragraph;  Josiah,  who  married  Mary  Huntsinger;  Wilfred,  who 
married  Sarah  Eastis ;  Albert,  who  married  Caroline  Goodale,  and  Arthur, 
who  married  Mary . 

I  1 2  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA. 

Hiram  Heath  came  to  Audubon  county  with  his  parents.  He  mar- 
ried in  1871,  Evahne,  daughter  of  Henry  and  Julia  A.  (  Bolton)  Grans- 
berry.  He  was  a  farmer  at  Exira,  and  a  Republican  in  politics.  His  chil- 
dren were,  Henry  M.,  who  married  Mary  B.  Kline;  Elizabeth  J.,  who  mar- 
ried George  B.  Martin;  Rosall,  who  married  Monroe  Higgins;  Olga  G., 
who  married  William  Powers,   and  AA'innie   I.,  unmarried. 

Mark  Heath,  a  farmer,  who  married  Lucy  Driver,  came  from  Fort 
Wayne,  Indiana,  in  1852.  and  settled  on  the  hill  south  of  Oakfield,  in  section 
29.  He  lived  there  the  remainder  of  his  life  and  died  there.  He  was  a 
Republican  in  politics  and  served  as  justice  of  the  peace.  His  children 
were,  Marcellus,  who  married  Emma  Brinckley ;  Lovice,  married  Chauncey 
Aldrich;  C.  Adelbert.  married  Francina  Pottle;  Kittie,  married  Frank  Lam- 

Amhert  Heath,  brother  of  Mark  and  Milton,  came  from  Indiana  in 
1857.  He  was  a  farmer  and  well  digger.  He  was  a  Democrat  and  served 
as  county  judge.  He  lost  his  life  in  a  well  at  the  Huyck  place  in  1868.  He 
married  Loly  A.  Monts  and  after  his  death,  his  widow  married  David  B. 
Beers.  He  was  the  father  of  the  following  children :  Catherine  Lovetta, 
who  married  \A^illiam  Gearheart ;  Rose  Ella,  married  Henry  Carpenter; 
Lewis  Comb,  married  Ina  Smith ;  Frank  Byron,  married  Ida  Merrick ; 
Owen  Elmer,  married  Grace  Hawk;  ]\[artha  Almeda,  married  Lewis  M. 

William  Henry  Harrison  Bowen  married  Eliza  Watson.  In  1853 
he,  with  Walter  J.  Jardine  and  John  Seifford  and  families,  came  here 
from  Jones  county,  Iowa.  Mr.  Bowen  bought  out  the  claim  of  Reuben 
Carpenter  and  was  a  farmer.  He  went  to  Pikes  Peak  in  i860  and  moved 
to  Colorado  in  1862.  He  returned  to  Audubon  county  in  1865,  but  later, 
went  to  Nebraska,  where  he  lived  several  years  and  then  returned  to  Cass 
county,  near  his  old  home.  He  was  a  Republican,  a  member  of  the  board 
of  supervisors  in  1871-2,  and  the  first  assessor  of  Audubon  county.  He 
married  for  his  second  wife,  Josephine  Smith.  His  son,  the  late  Hugh 
Bowen,  succeeded  to  the  home  place  many  years  ago.  To  WiUiam  and 
Eliza  Bowen  the  following  children  were  born :  Nancy  Jane,  who  married 
Hon.  William  Walker;  Rachel  Elizabeth,  married  William  B.  Stone;  John 
Wesley,  married  Nancy  Cannon;  Anna  L.,  died  unmarried;  Sarah  E.,  mar- 
ried Wilham  Bales;  Hugh,  married  Alaggie  Selladay;  Juliette,  married 
Joseph  W.  Walker;  Emma  Caroline,  married  John  Lorah;  James  W.,  died 
unmarried;   Charles   E.,   married   Mary    Allen.      By   his   second   wife,    Mr. 


Bowen  had  four  children,  Kittie,  who  married  Leonard  J.  Whitney,  Burns, 
Harry  and  Edward. 

Peoria  Irwin  Whitted,  son  of  WilHam  and  Armena  (Howard) 
Whitted,  was  born  in  WilHamsport,  Tennessee,  February  29,  1832.  He 
married  in  Audubon  county  on  February  28,  i860,  Louise  C,  daugh- 
ter of  Levi  B.  and  Fannie  (Boyls)  Montgomery,  and  who  was  born 
in  Hancock  county,  Illinois.  Mr.  Whitted  accompanied  his  parents  to 
Vigo  county,  Indiana;  thence  to  Parke  county,  Indiana,  in  1833;  to 
Vermilion  county,  Indiana,  in  1838;  to  Keokuk,  Iowa,  in  1845;  to 
Muscatine  and  Ottumwa,  Iowa,  in  1850;  to  Santa  Fe,  New  Mexico,  in 
1851,  whence  he  returned  to  Iowa  City.  In  1853  he  came  to  Hamlin's 
Grove,  Iowa.  In  the  spring  of  1857  he  came  to  Exira,  where  he  hved  the 
remainder  of  his  life.  He  was  a  Democrat,  a  member  of  the  Christian 
church  and  an  Odd  Fellow.  He  was  eilected  county  surveyor  in  1855,  and 
held  the  office  many  years;  was  deputy  sheriff  in  1869  and  assessor  for 
several  years.  He  was  a  prominent  man  and  is  frequently  mentioned  in 
this  work.  He  died  at  Exira  on  December  29,  1907.  His  children  were  as 
follow :  John  Clinton,  married  Hester  Coglin ;  Florence  May,  married 
Albert  L.  Sewell;  Minnie  Arena,  married  James  D.  Barber;  Forest  Bates, 
married  Mabel  Dickay;  Elbridge  Irving,  married  Blanche  Myers;  Carlton 
Calm,  married  Mildred  Bechfold;  Clara  Bell,  married  Nels  Johnson. 


J.  Lyman  Frost,  with  his  son,  Carlos,  and  Peoria  I.  Whitted,  came 
from  Iowa  City  to  Audubon  county  in  1853.  He  was  an  old  man,  a 
widower,  and  lived  alone  in  a  shanty  made  of  poles,  near  his  son,  Carlos, 
in  the  northwest  part  of  section  35,  Exira  township.  He  was  a  contentious 
man  and  had  a  special  faculty  for  stirring  up  the  animals.  He  was  an  ardent 
Republican,  a  strong  Union  man,  had  no  use  for  anyone  not  strictly  up  to 
the  highest  pitch  of  party  requirements,  and  he  practically  demonstrated 
his  opinions  on  all  possible  occasions.  (See  account  of  him  in  sketch  of 
Nathaniel  Hamlin.)  He  became  postmaster  at  Hamlin's  Grove  during  war 
times.  He  was  heartily  despised  by  the  Democrats  and  was  not  in  unison 
with  many  of  his  own  party.  He  was  a  discordant  element  at  best.  One 
of  the  patrons  of  his  postoffice  was  one  Martin  Shults,  whom  Frost  took 
occasion  publicly  to  call  a  "copperhead."  Shults  was  a  mild,  inoffensive 
man,  religiously  inclined,  and,  although  the  imputation  was  not  wholly  mis- 



applied,  from  the  standpoint  of  the  times,  the  insult  rankled  in  his  bosom. 
Later,  at  a  public  gathering  in  Oakfield,  Shults  spied  his  quarry,  removed 
his  coat  and  handed  it  to  his  good  old  wife,  "Aunt  Julie,"  remarking  that 
he  had  a  duty  to  perform,  and  then  "waded  in  and  proceeded  to  "tan  Frost's 
dog  skin."  That  exercise  performed,  he  proceeded  to  ride  in  haste  to  Exira 
in  search  of  a  justice  to  whom  he  might  "plead  guilty."  But  he  was  pur- 
sued by  the  constable,  John  Crane,  and  arrested  for  assault  and  battery. 
It  was  said  that  Crane  was  so  desirous  of  gaining  popularity  that  he  over- 
rode and  injured  a  fine  horse  in  making  the  arrest.  And  it  was  also  said 
that  his  promptness  in  the  matter  afterwards  cost  him  an  election  to  office. 

Mr.  Frost  was  easily  a  party  leader  locally.  -He  held  the  ear  of  Gov- 
ernor Kirkwood,  with  whom  he  was  personally  acquainted  at  Iowa  City, 
and  stood  in  with  the  administration  at  Washington.  He  made  the  weather 
and  crop  reports,  etc. ;  received  his  contingent  of  government  documents, 
seeds,  etc.,  which  he  conscientiously  distributed  among  the  faithful.  He 
was  one  of  the  first  to  raise  an  apple  orchard  and  other  tame  fruit  in  the 
county.  He  was  prompt  and  zealous  in  attending  to  party  affairs  and  in 
managing  the  Republican  political  machinery  in  the  county,  being  sometime 
chairman  of  the  county  central  committee.  But,  after  a  disagreeable  fac- 
tional contest  with  the  Ballards  and  others  in  a  county  convention  at 
Green's  school  house,  in  1868,  he  soured  on  party  work  and  ne\er  after- 
wards took  an  active  part  in  politics.  He  went  to  Nebraska  with  his  son, 
Carlos,  about  1884,  when  very  aged. 

Carlos  E.  Frost  came  here  with  his  father  from  Iowa  City  in  1853,  ^^^ 
was  a  farmer.  He  lived  in  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  35,  Exira  town- 
ship. He  ^\•as  a  Republican  and  a  popular  gentleman.  He  was  clerk  at  the 
first  county  election,  April  2,  1855;  county  treasurer,  1864-5,  and  during 
that  period  lived  in  Exira.  in  the  Charles  Chapin  house,  which  was  on  the 
site  of  the  present  John  Mertis  residence,  block  16,  Exira. 

In  1883  he  was  a  merchant  in  Brayton.  where  his  store  was  burglarized 
by  the  "Crooked  Creek  Gang."  His  son,  Lew  C.  Frost,  and  son-in-law,  Dan 
P.  McGill,  held  the  office  of  count v  survevor.  He  moved  to  Stuart, 
Nebraska,  about  1884.  His  children  were,  Lew  C,  who  married  Alice 
Ilartman ;  Salina ;  Eva,  who  married  Dan  P.  ]\IcGill ;  Edward,  Eliza  and 
another  daughter. 

Richard  Gault,  son  of  Francis  and  Deborah  (Stewart)  Gault,  was 
born  in  Belfast,  Ireland,  August  21,  1830,  and  was  married  in  Audubon 
county.  May  i,  i860,  to  IMary  Leffingwell.  daughter  of  Alvin  and  Paulina 
(Leffingwell)    Herrick,   and   who  was   born   in   Massachusetts   about    1832. 


Mr.  Gault  came  to  Philadelphia  with  his  parents,  about  1837;  thence  to 
Wisconsin  in  185 1;  to  Appanoose  county,  Iowa,  in  1853,  and  to  Hamlin's 
Grove  in  1854.  He  served  as  clerk  for  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  and  was  clerk 
01  the  district  court  in  1861-2.  About  1863  he  settled  on  a  farm  in  section 
9,  Exira  township,  where  he  lived  many  years  and  where  his  wife  died. 
During  the  last  years  of  his  life  he  resided  in  Exira.  He  was  a  Democrat 
and  Odd  Fellow  and  a  Knight  of  Pythias.  He  died  in  Exira,  April  13, 
1904.  His  children,  who  were  born  in  Audubon  county,  were :  Henry 
Franklin,  who  married  first,  Dora  Smith,  and  second,  Melissa  Cook; 
Augusta  Collins,  married  Naomi  Campbell ;  Mildred  Ann,  married  John  B. 
Hash;  Charles  Richard,  who  first  married  Maud  Wilcutt,  and  second, 
Anna  Glasscock ;  Caroline,  married  Ernest  D.  Powell ;  Anna  Belle,  married 
Charles  W.  Houston;  Mary  Leffingwell,  married  Albert  Britner. 


The  Herrick  lineage  is  a  proud  one.  It  is  an  old  one,  extending  back 
to  the  period  when  English  people  bore  but  a  single  name,  and  it  was  then 
Eric.  But,  through  \-arious  transformations  and  the  prefix  of  the  Cockney 
"h,"  it  became  (H)eyricke,  which,  in  later  times,  became  Herrick.  It  is 
traditional  that  the  very  ancient  family  of  the  Ericks  descended  from  Eric, 
the  Forrester,  a  great  commander,  who  raised  an  army  to  oppose  the  in- 
vasion of  William  the  Concperor  into  England,  1066,  by  whom  he  was 
vancjuished;  but  he  was  afterwards  chosen  to  command  some  of  the  forces 
of  that  king.  In  old  age  he  returned  to  his  estate  in  Leicestershire,  where 
the  descendants  became  free  tenants,  holding  two  virgates,  the  fourth  of 
a  hide,  or  about  fifty  acres  of  land,  which  they  held  on  payment  of  an 
annual  quit-rent  to  the  king  of  a  pound  of  pepper.  Eyrick,  of  Great 
Stretton  and  of  Houghton  in  Leicester,  England,  in  time  of  King  Henry 
III,   1216-72,  was  a  lineal  descendant  of  Eric,  the  Forrester. 

Henry  Heyricke,  or  Herrick,  was  tenth  in  lineal  descent  from  Eyrick 
last  named.  He  was  born  at  Beaumont,  England,  August  6,  1604,  and  was 
named  by  command  of  Prince  Henry,  eldest  son  of  King  James  I.  His 
sponsors  were  Sir  David  Murray,  Sir  John  Spellman  and  Lady  Aston.  He 
emigrated  to  \^irginia ;  thence  to  Salem,  Massachusetts,  where  he  married 
Editha,  daughter  of  Flugh  and  Alice  Laskin.  They  were  members  of  the 
First  church  in  Salem,  1629.  He  was  made  a  freeman.  May  18,  1631. 
They  moved  to  Bass  River,  now  Beverly,  Massachusetts,  July  4,  1667, 
where  they  joined  the  church  the  same  year.     They  were  founders  of  the 



Herrick  family  in  New  England.     Their  descendants  are  numerous  and  are 
well  settled  over  the  Northern  and  Western  states. 

Alvin  Herrick  was  supposed  to  have  descended  from  Henry  Herrick, 
of  Salem,  Massachusetts,  1629,  but  his  ancestry  has  not  been  traced.  He 
was  the  son  of  Elisha  Herrick  and  was  born  in  Westfield,  Massachusetts. 
He  married  Pauline  Leflingwell.  He  was  a  dairyman  at  Westfield.  He 
moved  to  Chautauqua,  New  York,  as  early  as  1844;  thence  to  Buffalo, 
New  York;  thence  to  Beloit,  Wisconsin,  about  1850.  In  the  spring  of 
1853  he  migrated  again,  and  arrived  in  Audubon  county  in  June,  of  that 


year,  accompanied  by  his  son,  Urbane,  and  family.  He  at  once  bought  out 
the  claim  of  Ralph  Arthur  Decker,  which  had  a  cabin  on  it,  and  in  the 
same  year  entered  the  land  from  the  government,  it  being  the  east  half  of 
the  northeast  quarter  of  section  17,  now  Exira  township,  and  also  the  south- 
east quarter  of  the  same  section,  embracing  some  first-class  farm  land  and 
the  best  timber  in  the  county,  which  shows  that  he  did  not  come  here  empty 
handed.  Part  of  the  present  farm  of  his  grandson,  Julius  E.  Herrick,  is 
situated  in  his  original  purchase.  The  remainder  of  his  family  came  in 
1854  and  brought  with  them  several  hundred  sheep,  the  first  brought  to 
Audubon  county.  "Folly"  Herrick.  his  son.  says  that  it  was  his  job  to  tend 
the  sheep,  and  that  they  were  herded  along  the  ridge  north  of  the  road, 
which  runs  on  the  north  line  of  section  16.     Mr.  Herrick  sold  his  farm  land 


to  his  son,  Elisha,  and  about  1856  moved  to  a  place  half  a  mile  north,  in 
section  9,  where  he  erected  a  dwelling,  built  for  him  by  Howard  J.  Green 
and  Alfred  Eddy,  which  is  still  in  existence.  About  1863  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Herrick  separated,  and  she,  with  several  of  the  children,  Coit,  Curtis,  Elisha, 
Judson  D.,  Orra  and  Lawrence,  emigrated  to  Stockton,  California.  Herrick 
sold  his  home  place  to  another  son,  Augustus  C.  Herrick,  and  son-in-law, 
Richard  Gault,  and  it  was  known  for  many  years  as  the  Gault  place.  About 
1865  his  son,  Judson  D.,  called  "Folly,"  returned  from  California,  and  the 
father  and  son  moved  to  Bear  Grove,  Iowa,  but  soon  returned  to  Audubon 
county,  where  he  died  in  December,  1875.  He  was  about  five  feet  and  six 
inches  in  stature;  dark  complexion,  hair  and  eyes.  His  descendants  are 
numerous,  being  mostly  farmers  and  Democrats,  and  have  been  substantial, 
prosperous  citizens;  people  who  attend  to  their  own  affairs  and  let  others 
alone;  honest,  honorable,  kind,  social  neighbors — good  types  of  old  Yankee 

Alvin  Herrick's  children  were  as  follow :  Caroline,  married  Lucius 
Collins;  Edson,  married  Mrs.  Mary  A.  West,  nee  Bigelow;  Sarah  Ann, 
married  John  Benedict;  Urbane,  married  Charlotte  Spurling  and  Keziah 
Smith;  Coit,  married  Helen  Bartlett;  Emerson,  married  Mary  Seiford; 
Curtis,  married  Hannah  Holdcroft;  Mary,  married  Richard  Gault;  Elisha, 

never    married;    Augustus    C,    married   Teters;    Judson    deForest, 

married  Mrs.  Louisa  Strickland,  nee  Roeser;  Orra,  married  William  Arnett; 
Lawrence,  married  Helen  Teters. 

Edson  Herrick  married  Mrs.  Mary  A.  West,  nee  Bigelow,  who  had  a 
son,  named  C.  Dwight  West,  by  her  former  husband.  They  came  here 
from  Beloit,  Wisconsin,  bringing  with  them  her  son,  who  still  lives  here. 
But,  fearing  Indian  troubles,  they  returned  to  Wisconsin,  and  came  back  to 
Audubon  county  in  June,  1856.  He  was  a  farmer  and  a  Democrat.  He 
entered  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  15,  Exira  township,  but  settled  on 
an  adjoining  tract  in  the  northeast  corner  of  section  16,  where  William 
Carpenter  and  other  afterwards  lived.  He  next  built  a  residence  farther 
west  in  the  same  section,  which  he  sold  to  G.  T.  Poage.  It  contained  one  of 
the  first  plastered  rooms  in  the  county.  About  1864  he  bought  the  farm 
first  improved  by  his  brother,  Urbane  Herrick,  in  sections  8  and  9,  Exira 
township,  where  his  son-in-law,  Walter  B.  Temple,  now  lives,  and  where 
he  lived  until  near  the  time  of  his  death.  He  was  a  medium-sized  man, 
with  dark  complexion,  hair  and  eyes.  His  name  may  justly  go  down  to 
posterity  as  a  model  citizen.  He  was  one  who  had  no  enemies.  Neither 
should  his  particular  by-word,  "By  Jocks,"  be  forgotten.     He  survived  his 


wife,  but  both  have  been  dead  many  years.  Their  children  were:  Ella 
Mary,  who  married  Walter  B.  Temple;  Ida  F.,  married  Henry  B.  Houston, 
and  is  dead;  Lilly  Ann,  married  Elihu  Myers;  Emma  P.,  married  J.  Mack 
Love;  Julius  Earl,  married  Jessie  Wilcutt;  Cora,  married,  first,  Grant 
Brown  and,  second,  Lloyd  Hinkle,  and  Laura  B.  died  unmarried. 

Urbane  Herrick  married,  first,  Charlotte  Spurling,  who  died,  and  he 
then  married  Keziah  Smith.  He  was  a  farmer  and  a  Democrat.  He  came 
from  Beloit,  Wisconsin,  with  his  father  in  1853.  He  entered  and  settled 
on  the  place  where  Walter  B.  Temple,  Esq.,  now  lives,  which  he  sold  to  a 
Doctor  Hager,  in  Illinois,  who  sold  it  to  Edson  Herrick  about  1864.  He 
then  settled  on  and  improved  the  farm  in  section  36  in  Hamlin  township, 
where  Willie  Jenson  now  lives.  Then  he  moved  to  lot  12,  in  section  3, 
Exira  township^  and  built  the  present  residence  in  the  northeast  corner 
thereof.  It  embraced  the  townsite  of  Exira  Heights  and  the  site  of  the 
school  house  at  Exira.  He  was  justice  of  the  peace  and  sheriff.  He  was 
a  small  man,  with  dark  complexion,  hair  and  eyes.  He  died  at  Exira  many 
years  ago,  and  his  widow  is  now  the  wife  of  Frank  Persing,  of  Exira.  The 
children  by  his  first  wife  were,  Urbane  Scott,  deceased,  who  married  Clara 
M.  Blackmar;  Orra  D.,  married  Samuel  Beers;  Lorinda  D.,  married  Hiram 
Young;  Rosa  M.,  married  Clark  Gray.  By  his  second  wife,  Mr.  Herrick 
became  the  father  of  three  children :  Robie  K.,  who  married  first,  John 
Peterman  and,  second,  jMichael  Flynn;  Mary  E.,  married  Hans  P.  Hansen, 
and  Maggie  E.,  married  Grant  Smith  and  J.  O.  HoAvard. 

Judson  DeForest  Herrick,  who  was  born  in  Chautauqua,  New  York, 
in  1844,  came  to  Audubon  county  from  Beloit,  Wisconsin,  in  1854.  He 
went  to  California  in  1863;  returned  to  Audubon  county  in  1865,  and 
moved  to  Bear  Grove,  Iowa,  and  there  married  Mrs.  Louisa  Strickland, 
nee  Roeser.  He  later  returned  to  Audubon  county  and  settled  on  a  farm  in 
section  31,  in  Greeley  township,  where  he  lived  many  years.  He  is  now 
retired  and  lives  in  the  town  of  Exira.  He  is  a  Democrat.  Physically,  he 
is  a  small  man,  with  dark  complexion,  hair  and  eyes.  His  children  are : 
Alvin,  who  married  Sarah  Winchell ;  Lenora.  married  John  Crees ;  Curtis, 
married  Edna  White;  Herbert,  married  Harriet  Jenkins,  and  Essie  M., 
married  George  Scott. 

HON.    DANIEL    M.    HARRIS. 

Judge  Daniel  M.  Harris  was  a  gentleman  with  whom  it  was  a  pleasure 
to  have  been  acquainted.     No  man  in  Audubon  county,  during  the  period 

HON.  D.  M.  HAlUtLS 

/  ^ 


of  his  residence  here,  from  1854  to  1862,  did  more  than  he,  as  a  citizen  and 
pubhc  officer,  for  the  advancement  of  the  community.  He  was  worthy, 
genial,  friendly  and  a  highly-intelligent  gentleman.  He  was  born  in  Day- 
ton, Ohio,  July  21,  1 82.1.  In  1837  he  went  to  Williamsport,  Tennessee, 
where,  in  1841,  he  married  Martha  Minerva  White.  He  was  a  carpenter 
and  merchant  in  Williamsport,  whence  he  migrated  and  arrived  at  Hamlin's 
Grove  on  November  8,  1854.  He  settled  in  section  36,  now  Exira  town- 
ship, improved  land  there  and  worked  at  his  trade.  In  1857  he  moved  to 
section  14,  now  Audubon  township,  and  improved  land  there. 

He  was  elected  county  judge  in  1855  and  held  the  office  until  1862. 
It  was  the  most  important  office  in  the  county,  its  duties  embracing  many 
now  exercised  by  the  board  of  supervisors,  relative  to  elections,  taxation, 
roads,  and  the  general  county  business,  besides  jurisdiction  in  probate  mat- 
ters, and  concurrent  jurisdiction  with  justices  of  the  peace.  Alost  of  the 
public  county  records  were  installed  under  his  direction,  and  many  of  the 
first  records  were  written  with  his  own  hand,  showing  very  neat  penman- 
ship, and'  intelligent,  painstaking  work,  a  monument  to  his  memory.  He 
was  the  first  lawyer  in  the  county,  and  the  factotum  for  all  kinds  of  legal 
and  official  business  for  the  people  of  the  county  during  the  period  from 
1854  to  1861,  inclusive,  which  compares  favorably  with  that  conducted  at 
the  present  time.  This  is  remarkable  when  it  is  considered  that  Iowa  was 
then  in  its  infancy  and  that  the  forms  and  methods  of  transacting  such 
aflrairs  were  not  then  well  settled.  Lawyers  and  officers  were  then  required 
to  make  their  own  forms  of  documents  and  legal  records,  without  the  aid 
of  the  codes,  hand  books  of  forms,  practice  and  procedure  which  are  now 

Judge  Harris  was  highly  esteemed  as  a  citizen  and  his  friends  were  co- 
extensive with  his  acquaintance.  If  he  had  enemies,  they  were  few  and 
were  confined  to  his  rivals.  His  integrity  was  unquestioned.  He  was  an 
eminently  public-spirited  man.  In  1855-6  he  originated  the  idea  and  as- 
sisted to  build  the  first  school  house  in  the  county,  a  log  building  at  Hamlin's 
Grove,  a  private  enterprise,  erected  by  the  donations  and  labor  of  the  set- 
tlers. In  1856-7  he  and  Peoria  I.  Whitted  erected  the  first  public  school 
house  in  the  county,  at  the  cost  of  two  hundred  and  sixty-five  dollars,  built 
by  subscription,  at  Audubon  City   (Hamlin's  Grove). 

In  1857  Judge  Harris  bought  from  David  Edgerton  for  four  hundred 
dollars,  an  unrecorded  one-half  interest  in  the  land  upon  which  the  town  of 
Exira  was  laid  out  and  platted.  And  while  the  business  was  conducted  in 
the  name  of  Mr.  Edgerton,  Harris  was  the  real  promoter  and  did  the  busi- 


ness.  The  first  sale  of  lots  was  on  May  7,  1857,  ^^-  Harris  being  the  auc- 
tioneer, and  the  sale  aggregated  one  thousand  nine  hundred  and  fifty  dollars. 
He  reserved  all  of  block  8  in  the  town  for  his  own  home  lot,  and  in  the 
same  year  built  for  himself  the  first  dwelling  in  town.  This  he  sold,  about 
i860,  to  William  P.  Hamlin,  and  then  built  for  himself  another  dwelling, 
which  stood  where  the  Park  hotel  is  located.  Soon  afterwards  he  built 
another  building,  about  sixteen  feet  square,  on  block  8,  for  a  carpenter 
shop,  where  Ernest  Voss's  residence  is  situated,  and  which  was  afterwards 
used  for  a  postofiice.  It  was  sold  to  the  county,  moved  upon  the  public 
square  and  used  for  the  county  offices  until  1874,  when  it  degenerated  into 
a  beer  saloon.  The  same  year  he  originated  a  plan  for  building  the  first 
school  house  at  Exira,  and  which  was  erected  with  less  than  one  hundred 
dollars  in  actual  cash.  The  contract  price  of  the  building  was  one  thou- 
sand three  hundred  dollars.  The  taxpayers  brought  to  the  contractor  grain, 
labor,  lumber,  etc.,  for  which  the  county  treasurer  gave  a  receipt  as  for 
cash,  and  the  contractor  receipted  to  the  treasurer  for  it.  And  so  the  house 
was  erected  and  paid  for. 

Judge  Harris  served  as  postmaster  at  Exira  from  1857  to  1861.  He 
was  elected  representative  to  the  Legislature  in  1859  from  the  twenty- 
sixth  district,  composed  of  the  counties  of  Audubon,  Guthrie,  Harrison 
and  Shelby,  and  served  in  the  sessions  of  the  ninth  General  Assembly.  He 
said:  "I  supported,  as  representati\e,  all  the  war  measures  of  Iowa,  and 
was  as  good  a  real  Union  man  as  any  in  Iowa.  I  was  opposed  to  much  of 
the  legislation  of  the  Republican  party  of  that  day,  believing  then,  as  I  do 
now,  that  much  of  it  was  for  the  purpose  of  robbing  the  people  of  the 
South,  whom  I  consider  as  much  entitled  to  the  protection  of  the  United 
States  government  as  the  people  of  the  North."  He  supported  Douglas 
for  President  in  i860.  It  is  said  that  at  the  beginning  of  the  war.  in  1861. 
he  made  a  strong  Union  speech  at  Exira,  at  which  the  Democrats,  and 
especially  Uncle  Natty  Hamlin,  were  offended.  John  T.  Jenkins,  of  Bray- 
ton,  says,  that  when  he  enlisted  in  1861,  Judge  Harris  praised  his  conduct 
in  going  to  war  and  said  that  it  was  the  duty  of  young  men  to  serve  their 
country  in  time  of  its  peril.  His  son,  William  J.  Harris,  enhsted  in  1862, 
in  Company  B,  Thirty-ninth  Iowa  Infantry,  and  was  captured  at  Altoona 
in  1864. 

The  Harris  home  at  Exira  was  noted  for  hospitality  and  was  the 
favorite  resort  of  the  elite  of  Audubon  county  in  early  times,  being  the 
scene  of  gayety,  festivity  and  pleasure.     The  normal  condition  was  that  the 


house  was  full  to  overflowing,  and  all  comers  were  always  made  welcome 
and  happy.     The  family  rarely  set  down  to  the  table  alone  at  meal  time. 

Judge  Harris  moved  to  Panora,  Iowa,  in  the  spring  of  1862,  and  be- 
came a  member  of  the  firm  of  Harris  &  Fogg,  prominent  lawyers  there. 
At  the  same  time  he  was  proprietor  and  editor  of  the  Guthrie  County 
Ledger,  notorious  in  its  opposition  to  the  Republican  party  and  administra- 
tion. In  1867  he  was  the  Democratic  candidate  for  lieutenant-governor  of 
Iowa.  He  moved  to  Missouri  A'^alley  in  1868  and  there  conducted  the 
Missouri  Valley  Times.  Returning  to  Exira  in  1873,  he  conducted  the 
Audubon  County  Defender,  and  later,  moved  to  Atlantic,  Iowa,  and  there 
established  the  Cap  Sheaf.  He  again  removed  to  Missouri  Valley,  about 
1876,  and  continued  the  publication  of  the  Missouri  Valley  Times  the  re- 
mainder of  his  life. 

Exceptions  were  taken  to  Judge  Harris  along  political  lines,  as  a  news- 
paper editor  and  proprietor  and  politician,  especially  during  war  times  and 
the  reconstruction  period.  He  was  prominent  in  the  Democratic  party 
and  in  harmony  with  its  doctrines,  tenets  and  traditions.  He  denounced 
the  war  in  strong  terms,  and  was  in  sympathy  with  the  South.  His  paper 
was  considered  detrimental  to  the  Union  cause.  The  soldiers,  who  were 
then  dodging  rebel  bullets  in  the  army,  looked  with  disfavor  and  hatred 
upon  those  in  the  rear  who  were  acting  against  their  best  interests,  and  re- 
garded those  who  were  not  with  them  as  against  them.  It  was  a  desperate 
situation — a  case  of  life  or  death  to  the  soldiers  who  were  fighting  in  a 
just  cause  for  their  rights — which  is  now  the  verdict  of  the  world,  including 
the  Southern  people  themselves.  To  err  is  human.  Judge  Harris  probably 
lived  to  regret  some  things  he  said  and  did.  Near  the  time  of  his  death 
he  published  in  his  paper :  "In  looking  back  over  the  past  ninety  years' 
history  of  our  life,  we  feel  that,  with  our  experience,  if  we  had  the  journey 
to  make  over,  we  would  shun  politics  as  we  would  a  plague."  In  the  year 
of  his  death  there  appeared  in  his  paper  an  article  from  his  own  pen  on  the 
centennial  of  the  birth  of  Lincoln,  the  tenor  of  which  was  all  that  a  patriotic 
American  could  desire ;  but  in  marked  contrast  with  the  sentiments  ex- 
pressed in  his  earlier  writings.  He  was  for  many  years  a  Free  Mason  and 
an  Odd  Fellow.  He  died  at  Missouri  Valley,  October  9,  191 1.  Mrs.  Harris 
died  in  1898.  Their  children  were  as  follow:  Mary  Isabella,  married  John 
Crane;  WilHam  James,  married  Flora  Townsend;  Daniel  Webster,  never 
married;  Clarinda  Campbell,  married  John  Lahman;  John  Wiley,  married 
Hattie  Toft;   Robert  Henry,   married   Frances   Chapman;   Ellis   Nathaniel, 


married  Essie  Rainberger;  Edwin  Freeman,  married  Emma  Jones;  Virginia 
Tennessee,  married  Will  Rutledge;  Emma  Eudora,  married  Charles  Russell. 


Thomas  T.  Lewis  married  Sarah  G.  Meek,  a  sister  to  Rev.  Richard  C. 
Meek.  They  lived  in  Wayne  county,  Indiana,  whence  they  moved  to  Niles, 
Michigan,  in  1833.  The  family  then  migrated  to  Jones  county,  Iowa; 
thence  to  Kansas.  Mr.  Lewis  had  died  before  the  family  came  here,  and 
Mrs.  Lewis  lived  with  her  son,  Isaac,  afterwards.  The  family,  consisting  of 
three  sons,  Richard  M.,  Thomas  S.,  and  Isaac  V.  D.,  and  their  families,  and  a 
married  daughter,  the  wife  of  Dennis  Parmeley,  came  to  Audubon  county 
in  October,  1854. 

Richard  Meek  Lewis,  who  married  Elizabeth  Lewis,  sister  of  Hon. 
William  Walker,  was  a  carpenter,  who  settled  in  section  26,  now  in  Exira 
township,  and  sold  his  place  to  Whitman  Wilcox.  It  is  now  part  of  the 
Benjamin  F.  Simpson  estate.  They  then  settled  and  lived  many  years  in 
Oakfield;  moved  to  Sheridan,  Wyoming;  thence  to  Casper,  Wyoming.  He 
was  a  class  leader  and  prominent  in  the  Methodist  church  many  years.  He 
died  at  Casper.  Before  marriage  to  Mr.  Lewis,  Mrs.  Lewis  had  a  daughter, 
Malvina,  who  married  Thomas  Roland,  who  settled  in  Audubon  county. 
Mr.  Lewis  died  in  Casper.  He  had  two  daughters,  Josephine,  who  married 
H.  Moffit,  and  Albertine,  who  married  William  Allan  Hamlin. 

Thomas  Shelton  Lewis,  married,  first,  Josephine  B.  Caylor,  and,  second. 
May  Jorden.  He  was  a  farmer  and  a  Democrat.  He  settled  in  section  25, 
Exira  township.  After  the  death  of  his  first  wife  he  moved  to  another 
place,  about  a  mile  west  of  his  former  home.  He  was  the  first  county  judge 
in  1855.  In  his  official  capacity  he  laid  out  the  town  of  Dayton,  as  the  first 
county  seat  of  Audubon  county,  on  July  9,  1855,  on  the  land  of  his  uncle, 
Rev:  Richard  C.  Meek,  the  east  half  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  22, 
Exira  township.  His  first  farm  adjoined  that  of  his  brother,  Isaac,  and  for 
many  years  they  were  embraced  in  Audubon  civil  township  as  the  county 
was  originally  divided.  The  township  was  overwhelmingly  Democratic 
and  it  was  his  fortune  for  many  years  to  hold  the  office  of  justice  of  the 
peace;  and  he  also  often  served  as  judge  of  election.  In  early  times,  before 
he  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  he  figured  in  actions  before  justices  of  the  peace 
and  inferior  tribunals.  Some  amusing  incidents  transpired  relative  to  him 
in  his  legal  capacity.  Once  he  was  counsel  for  a  party  sued  on  a  promissory 
note.     The  defendant,  under  oath,  denied  his  signature  to  the  note,  and  the 


affidavit  was  prepared  by  Mr.  Lewis.  The  proof  was  overwhelming  that 
the  signature  to  the  note  was  genuine,  and  the  man  was  afterwards  prose- 
cuted for  perjury  before  John  A.  Hallock,  justice  of  the  peace,  for  making 
the  false  affidavit,  the  present  writer  acting  for  the  prosecution.  Mr.  Griggs 
defended  and  the  defendant  made  an  affidavit  for  change  of  venue,  in 
which  he  swore  that  he  could  not  obtain  justice  before  Mr.  Hallock,  or  Mr. 
Harrington,  or  Mr.  Smart,  who  were  justices  of  the  peace,  or  before  any 
other  justice  of  the  peace  in  Audubon  county,  except  T.  S.  Lewis.  And  the 
case  was  sent  to  Mr.  Lewis  for  trial.  Of  course,  the  state  could  not  obtain 
a  change  of  venue  from  him.  The  defense  attempted  to  exclude  from  the 
evidence  the  false  affidavit  of  the  defendant,  in  which  he  swore  that  his 
name  signed  to  the  note  sued  on  was  not  his  genuine  signature.  The  trial 
took  up  a  day  and  part  of  the  night,  and  the  contest  was  over  the  admis- 
sion of  the  affidavit  in  evidence.  It  was  repeatedly  offered  and  admitted, 
only  to  be  stricken  out  on  objection  of  defendant's  counsel,  the  court  being 
too  ready  to  accept  any  subterfuge  offered.  The  affidavit  was  not  only 
false,  but  it  compromised  Mr.  Lewis,  who  had  prepared  and  filed  it  for  the 
defendant.  The  situation  was  uncomfortable  for  the  court,  as  well  as  for 
the  defendant.  Finally  the  court  suggested — I  believed  to  assist  me — "Mr. 
.Andrews,  state  your  question  thusly."  And  the  interrogatory  was  framed 
accordingly.  Mr.  Griggs  apparently  supposed  that  the  court  was  about  to 
admit  the  evidence,  but,  out  of  abundant  obstinacy  and  force  of  habit,  ob- 
jected, supported  by  the  usual  harangue,  when,  to  the  amazement  of  every 
one  present,  the  court  sustained  the  objection  to  his  own  question,  cun- 
ningly observing:  'T  suggested  the  question  to  enable  the  court  to  be  con- 
sistent with  its  former  ruling."  The  laugh  was  certainly  on  me  with  a 
vengeance.  Uncle  Charley  Gray,  a  bright  old  lawyer,  present,  exploded  with 
laughter,  and  said  that  it  was  the  most  ridiculous  performance  he  ever  wit- 
nessed in  court.     The  prosecution  was  abandoned  in  despair. 

On  another  occasion,  Mr.  Churchill,  of  Atlantic,  was  trying  a  case  be- 
fore Mr.  Lewis,  where  Mr.  Griggs  and  John  W.  Scott  were  defending.  The 
plaintiff  sought  to  introduce  the  testimony  of  the  wife  of  defendant  against 
her  husband,  to  which  proper  objection  was  made,  and  a  heated  discussion 
arose  over  it.  The  court  ruled  that  the  lady  should  answer,  upon  which 
Griggs  directed  the  witness  not  to  answer.  But  she  said :  "The  court  orders 
me  to  answer."  "Never  mind  what  he  says.  You  are  not  compelled  to 
testify  against  your  husband.  Observe  my  directions  and  I  will  protect 
3^ou."  The  court  informed  Griggs  that  he  was  in  contempt,  and  that  he 
should  fine  him  if  he  repeated  his  conduct.     Mr.  Griggs  replied  that  he  re- 


spected  the  court,  but  that  he  had  utter  contempt  for  his  ruhng,  and  the 
court  fined  him.  The  contest  continued  along  the  same  hne  until  Griggs 
was  repeatedly  fined,  when  an  adjournment  was  taken.  During  intermis- 
sion J\lr.  Lewis  and  Mr.  Griggs,  who  were  personal  friends,  had  a  private 
interview,  and  when  court  convened  "His  Honor"  announced:  "I  was  not 
aware  of  the  position  of  counsel  in  this  matter,  and  the  fines  for  contempt 
are  remitted."  Then  ]\Ir.  Churchill  interfered  and  objected  to  the  order  of 
court,  when  Mr.  Scott  took  a  hand,  pointedly  asked  Mr.  Churchill  if  it  was 
any  of  his  business,  and  offered  to  whip  him  on  short  notice.  Churchill 
admitted  that  it  was  not  his  affair,  and  the  case  proceeded  again,  with  ill 
temper  between  counsel.  Another  question  arose  and  was  discussed  pro 
and  con  until  the  lawyers  got  weary  and  sat  down,  when  the  court  inquired : 
"What  is  the  question,  gentlemen?" 

Years  ago  there  was  a  place  near  the  center  of  Audubon  township, 
called  "Indian  Grove,"  from  the  fact  that  it  was  a  large  tract  of  burr  oak 
trees,  which  were  desirable  for  fence  posts  and  were  slyly  sought  and  ap- 
propriated by  some  of  the  new  settlers  in  that  vicinity  by  "jayhawking" 
them.  ]\Ir.  Griggs  was  employed  to  prosecute  the  offenders  and  proceeded 
to  the  scene  of  action,  accompanied  by  the  justice  of  the  peace,  Mr.  Lewis, 
and  the  sheriff',  Mr.  Comrardy.  Arriving  there,  they  surprised  the  tres- 
passers at  work  and  took  them  redhanded,  cutting  down  trees  and  loading 
timber,  causing  a  panic  and  stampede.  Some  of  the  bushwhackers  escaped, 
but  three  were  arrested,  including  a  preacher,  who  in  the  "skeddadle"  lost 
his  plug  hat  and,  in  attempting  to  rescue  it,  was  nabbed.  Court  was  held  on 
the  field,  occupying  a  stump  for  the  forum.  Fines  and  costs  were  assessed 
calculated  to  discourage  further  transgressions.  The  court  and  counsel 
returned  well  satisfied  with  their  success.  The  affair  was  afterward  styled 
"The  Circle  Court  of  Audubon  County."  Mr.  Lewis  was  admitted  to  the 
bar  along  in  the  seventies.  He  moved  to  Atlantic,  Iowa,  where  he  died  in 

His  children  liy  his  first  wife  were,  Emery  V.,  who  married  Mary 
;  Eliza,  deceased,  who  married  Thomas  Adams ;  Eldora,  who  mar- 
ried, first.  Roland  Strahl  and.  second,  Smith  Burton;  Marilla.  married  Bert 
Poaee;  ]\Iinnie,  married  Samuel  Crane.  Bv  his  second  wife.  Mr.  Lewis 
became  the  father  of  Herman.  Thomas  S.  and  Todd. 

Isaac  VanDorsey  Lewis,  carpenter  and  farmer,  married  Mary  Jane 
White.  He  resided  many  years  in  section  26,  Exira  township,  on  the  west 
side  of  the  highway  opposite  from  his  brother,  Thomas  S.,  and.  later,  a 
short  distance  north  in  section  24.     \^^hile  living  at  this  place,  his  house  was 


burned.  He  has  since  lived  many  years  with  his  son,  Elbert,  in  section  22. 
He  is  a  Democrat  and  has  been  a  prominent  citizen.  He  was  one  of  the 
judges  of  election  at  the  organization  of  the  county,  in  1855,  and  has  been 
assessor,  trustee,  school  director,  school  treasurer  and  county  supervisor. 
He  was  a  member  of  the  first  Methodist  church  society  organized  in  the 
county,  and  the  scribe,  in  1855,  and  for  many  years  a  faithful  worker  and 
supporter  of  the  church.  A  large  amount  of  information  concerning  the 
history  of  Audubon  county  for  this  work  was  obtained  from  him.  Mrs. 
Lewis  died  years  ago.  Their  children  are :  Elbert,  who  married  Elizabeth 
Slonaker;  Edward,  married  Blanch  E.  Spry;  Estella,  married  Ralph  Hawk; 
Henry  Clay,  married  Bertha  Spry;  William  E.,  married  Winifred  Hawk; 
Malvina,  married  Charles  Spry. 

Bryant  ]\Jilliman  was  born  in  Sandusky  county,  Ohio,  November  16, 
1828.  His  parents  died  when  he  was  two  years  old  and  he  lived  with  his 
grandfather,  near  Niagara  Falls,  New  York,  until  fifteen  years  old,  when  he 
\\ent  to  Fort  Wayne,  Indiana.  He  was  married  there  on  December  5,  1852, 
to  Jane  Heath,  sister  of  Amherst,  Milton  and  Mark  Heath.  Mr.  Milliman 
and  wife  came  with  a  team  from  Fort  Wayne  and  arrived  in  Audubon 
county  in  June,  1854.  He  soon  became  owner  of  the  northeast  quarter  of 
ihe  southeast  quarter  and  lots  17,  18  and  19,  in  section  4,  Exira  township, 
having  bought  the  claims  of  William  Powell  and  William  Shirley  to  some 
of  thes^  tracts  of  land,  and  the  remainder  was  entered  from  the  govern- 
ment. He  owned  over  one  hundred  acres  of  this  land  and  resided  on  it  at 
his  death.  His  first  house  and  barn  were  erected  on  lot  17.  The  old  house 
now  forms  the  kitchen  of  the  dwelling  of  Miss  Amber  Kelsey  in  the  town 
of  Exira.  He  was  a  Democrat.  He  died  in  August,  1912.  "Aunt  Jane" 
lives  on  the  old  homestead.  Their  children  were :  William  H.,  unmarried ; 
Frank,  who  went  blind  and  died  unmarried;  Charles  N.,  married  lone 
Brinkerhoff;  George  W.,  married  Mrs.  Maggie  Johnson;  Jessie  M.,  un- 
married; Marsh  Edgar,  married  Lillie  Johnson. 

Miles  Beers,  wife  and  family,  came  from  Delaware  county,  New  York, 
in  1854,  and  settled  on  section  18,  Exira  township.  He  was  a  farmer  and 
a  Democrat.  He  was  the  first  treasurer  and  recorder  of  Audubon  county 
in  1855.  His  farm  is  now  owned  by  Owen  F.  Ide,  Esq.  He  and  his  wife 
died  many  years  ago.  Their  children  were,  John  W.,  unmarried;  David  B. 
and  Jane,  who  married  Oliver  Smith. 

John  W.  Beers  came  with  his  father.  He  was  one  of  the  clerks  at  the 
first  election  in  Audubon  county  in  April,  1855,  at  which  he  was  elected 
clerk  of  the  district  court  and  county  surveyor.     He  died  early. 

126  AUDUBON    COUNTY,,    IOWA. 

David  B.  Beers  and  his  father  lived  together  many  years,  until  his 
father's  death.  He  married,  first,  late  in  life,  Mrs.  Lowly  A.,  widow  of 
Amherst  Heath.  For  his  second  wife,  he  married  Mrs.  Leigan.  He  was 
a  farmer  and  a  school  teacher.  He  succeeded  to  his  father's  farm.  After 
marriage  he  lived  in  section  29,  Exira  township,  on  his  wife's  estate,  but  is 
now  living  in  Brayton,  Iowa.  He  is  a  Democrat  and  served  as  county 
superintendent  and  county  surveyor.  His  children  are,  Eva,  who  married 
Calvin  Dimick ;  Nellie,  married  ]\Ir.  Badd,  and  Lona  C,  also  married. 

Samuel  Smith  was  born  near  Liverpool,  England,  and  married  Mary 
Farrell.  He  was  a  farmer  and  gardener.  The  family  left  Liverpool  and, 
six  weeks  later,  landed  in  Xew  Orleans ;  thence  he  went  to  Cincinnati.  Ohio, 
during  the  holidays  of  that  year,  and  located  in  Clifton,  a  suburb  of  that 
city,  and  thence  to  Loveland,  Ohio,  two  years  later.  In  the  spring  of  1854 
they  came  to  Auduljo.n  county.  (See  sketch  of  Samuel  AI.  Ballard.)  He 
bought  land  in  section  14,  Hamlin  township,  which  he  sold  to  Joseph  us 
Lewis.  His  wife  died  in  1856-7,  and,  late  in  life,  he  married  Mrs.  Louaim 
Bailey,  and  went  to  live  on  her  estate  in  section  14,  Exira  township,  where 
he  soon  died.  He  was  an  upholder  of  the  Union  and  a  stanch  Repub- 
lican. His  sons,  John,  James  and  William,  were  soldiers  in  the  Union  army. 
The  children  born  to  him  were  as  follow :  Betsey,  who  remained  in  Eng- 
land, and  died  in  1856  or  1857;  Sarah,  who  died  in  Ohio  in  1856;  Alary  F., 
married  James  Dalton;  John  F.,  unmarried;  Eliza,  married  John  W.  Dodge; 
^Villiam  F.,  married  Cimanthia  Hamlin;  James,  married  Elizabeth  O'Con- 
nell ;  Samuel,  unmarried;  a  son  who  died  at  sea,  and  Lizzie  E.,  who  mar- 
ried  James  Peaslee. 

Rev.  Richard  Collins  Meek  was  born  in  Kentucky,  whence  he  went  to 
Wayne  county,  Indiana,  where  he  was  educated,  taught  school  and  enteied 
the  ministry  in  the  Methodist  church.  He  preached  in  Indiana  until  1833. 
ihen  went  to  Xiles.  Michigan,  and  continued  preaching  in  northern  Indiana 
and  in  Michigan  until  1850.  When  the  Methodist  church  split,  in  1844.  he 
joined  the  Methodist  church.  South.  He  went  to  Holt  county.  "Missouri, 
whence  he  came  to  Audubon  county  in  1855.  He  bought  his  first  home 
here  from  Walter  J.  Jardine  in  section  27,  in  what  is  now  Exira  township. 
He  entered,  and  also  secured  by  purchase,  several  hundred  acres  of  brush 
land  east  and  south  of  the  "Big  Grove."  The  town  of  Dayton,  in  section 
22.  was  laid  out  on  his  land.  He  was  a  Democrat,  and  his  sympathies  were 
with  the  South.  During  the  war  he  was  at  an  Indian  mission  school  in 
Kansas,  and  returned  here  at  the  close  of  the  war.  in  1865.  He  was 
deeply   interested   in    religious   affairs,    and    was   a   preacher   of   more   than 



ordinary  ability,  but  exceedingly  old-fashioned.  He  often  preached  here  to 
attentive  audiences.  His  wife  was  Eliza  Tatman,  better  known  as  "Aunty 
Meek."  They  were  truly  pious  people,  and  of  most  unblemished  characters. 
She  was  a  homeopathic  physician,  but  not  a  general  practitioner.  He  bought 
the  old  first  school  house  in  Exira,  and  converted  it  into  a  dwelling,  where 
he  sometimes  lived,  and  alternately  on  his  farm.     Once,  in  early  times,  there 


was  a  log-rolling  just  across  the  county  line  south  of  Ballard's  timber,  to  put 
up  a  log  cabin.  As  was  usual  on  such  occasions,  they  had  some  whisky  to 
help  the  job  along.  While  the  work  was  progressing,  the  crowd  saw  Air. 
Meek  approaching  and  proposd  to  joke  him.  Knowing  that  he  opposed 
tippling,  they  offered  him  the  bottle  and  invited  him  to  drink.  Good 
naturedly,  he  accepted  the  bottle,  remarking:  "Yes,  I  think  I  will.  Airs. 
Meek  has  been  wanting  some  to  make  'Camfine,"  and  will  1)e  pleased  to  get 
it,  thank  you."     And  he  put  it  in  his  pocket  and   rode   away.      The   boys 


concluded  that  the  joke  didn't  work  as  intended.  He  died  on  his  farm 
about  1873-4.  After  his  death,  there  was  considerable  controversy  over 
his  estate.  He  attempted  to  convey  a  large  part  of  it  to  the  church  and  to 
other  kindred  purposes,  contrary  to  law,  as  it  turned  out.  The  provisions 
of  the  will  in  that  respect  were  defeated.  John  AI.  Griggs  displayed  marked 
ability  in  conducting  the  cases  for  the  estate,  and  recovered  most  of  the 
property  for  j\Irs.  Aleek. 

Griggs's  success  with  the  business  exalted  him  to  the  top' notch  in  the 
estimation  of  "Aunty,"  besides  netting  him  a  handsome  reimbursement  for 
his  professional  skill  and  service.  And,  perhaps,  learning  that  he  was  the 
son  of  a  Methodist  presiding  elder,  did  not  decrease  her  admiration.  At 
any  rate,  from  that  time  onward  he  stood  in  "high  feather"  with  Mrs.  Meek 
— so  much  so,  that  she  made  it  a  point  to  frequently  consult  his  opinion  on 
divers  subjects.  During  the  "grasshopper  year,"  1875,  the  prospect  of 
losing  the  crops  by  those  pests,  looked  probable.  One  day,  in  the  worst  of 
the  scare,  "Aunty"  called  at  John's  office  to  take  advice  whether  it  would  be 
propitious  to  call  the  people  together  for  a  general  meeting  to  pray  to  have 
the  grasshoppers  removed,  and  earnestly  sought  his  best  judgment  on  the 
subject  in  the  very  best  of  good  faith.  John  was  puzzled  for  once.  It  was 
out  of  his  line.  So  he  cautiously  told  the  old  lady :  "It  can  do  no  harm  to 
try."  And  then  the  spirit  of  mischief  and  mirth  tempted  him  further  to 
advise :  "When  the  people  come  to  the  meeting,  let  them  all  go  down  into 
the  timber  and  each  secure  a  good  brush,  and  then  they  can  kill  a  great 
many  grasshoppers  in  that  way."  She  accepted  his  remark  with  a  cool- 
ness which  savored  of  her  doubt  of  his  sincerity.  However,  about  that 
time  the  hoppers  unanimously  rose  up  in  a  twinkling  and  flew  away,  never 
since  to  return.  Who  can  say  whether  the  good  intentions  of  "Aunty" 
Meek  did  not  hasten  their  departure?  She  was  a  strong  temperance  woman, 
a  thorn  in  the  flesh  in  her  day  to  the  "booze  venders,"  and  she  actively  en- 
gaged in  prosecution  of  the  dealers  in  intoxicating  liquor.  Mr.  Meek  and 
his  good  wife  were  childless. 


Isaac  Peter  Hallock,  Sr.,  was  a  lineal  descendant  of  Peter  Hallock, 
who  came  from  Hingham,  Norfolk,  England,  to  New  Haven,  Connecticut, 
in  1640.  and  who  settled  at  Southold.  Long  Island,  New  York.  He  was 
born  in  Clinton,  New  York,  January  6.  1802,  and  married  Abigail  Howland 
Smith,   a  native  of   Massachusetts.     He  moved   from   New  York  state  to 


Chicago  in  1830,  and  soon  settled  in  Kendall  county,  Illinois,  where  he 
lived  many  years.  He  then  went  to  Earlville,  Illinois,  where  he  was  en- 
gaged in  the  lumber  business  a  short  time.  In  1854-5  he  and  his  son-in-law, 
Erasmus  D.  Bradley,  bought,  from  Samuel  B.  Hopkins,  the  John  S.  Jenkins 
claim  in  section  20,  now  Exira  township,  and  upon  which  Mr.  Bradley  and 
his  partner,  Alva  B.  Brown,  afterwards  laid  out  the  town  of  Oakfield  upon 
Mr.  Bradley's  portion.  The  balance  of  the  purchase  remains  in  possession 
of  the  Hallocks  to  the  present  time.  Mr.  Hallock  and  his  son,  Isaac,  and 
perhaps  other  members  of  the  family  went  to  Omaha,  Nebraska,  about  the 
time  of  making  this  purchase,  but  returned  to  Oakfield  in  1856,  and  per- 
manently settled  there  on  the  site  of  the  present  Hallock  homestead.  They 
resided  with  their  son,  Isaac,  who  succeeded  to  his  father's  estate,  which 
is  now  possessed  by  a  grandson,  Isaac  Percy  Hallock.  They  were  Quak- 
ers. He  and  his  sons  were  stanch  Republicans.  He  served  as  county 
judge  in  1863-4,  and  afterwards  was  postmaster  and  justice  of  the  peace. 
Both  died  at  Oakfield  years  ago.  Their  children  were  as  follow :  Eliza- 
beth, who  married  Thomas  Dissmore;  Richard  S.,  married  Julia  Burr; 
Julia  Ann,  married  Erasmus  D.  Bradley;  John  Addison,  married  Catherine 
Crane;  Sarah  Melissa,  married  Joel  H.  Basham,  and  Isaac  Peter,  married 
Malinda  Ann  Norton. 

Richard  S.  Hallock.  M.  D..  married  Julia  Burr.  He  came  from 
Omaha,  Nebraska,  to  Oakfield,  in  1856,  where  he  was  a  successful  physician 
and  surgeon  many  years.  He  owned  several  farms  and  timber  lands.  He 
was  surgeon  of  a  United  States  colored  regiment  in  the  Union  army.  He 
was  a  Republican  in  politics.  He  moved  to  Salida,  Colorado,  where  he 
died  about  1890.  He  was  the  father  of  the  following  children:  Robert 
Burns,  who  married  Ossia  Orton;  Kansas  Irene,  married  Hardy  M.  Clark; 
Julia,  married  George  Simmons ;  Jennie,  married  William  Fuller,  and  Burr. 

Hon.  John  Addison  Hallock  married  Catherine,  daughter  of  Daniel 
and  Ann  (Eckman)  Crane.  He  came  to  Audubon  county  about  1856,  and 
was  a  farmer  and  successful  school  teacher.  He  settled  on  lot  13,  section 
3,  adjoining  the  town  of  Exira  on  the  east.  He  taught  school  in  Guthrie 
Center,  at  Exira  and  at  the  Green  school.  As  the  town  increased  his  land 
was  required  for  suburban  residences,  and  now  forms  a  large  part  of  the 
town.  The  Congregational  church  was  built  on  his  land.  A  Republican  in 
politics,  he  was  clerk  of  the  district  court,  1863-4;  justice  of  the  peace, 
1868,  and  later  representative.  In  1878  he  was  a  merchant  at  Exira,  but 
moved  to  Salida,  Colorado,  in  the  eighties,  where  Mrs.  Hallock  died.  He 


was  an  agnostic.  There  was  an  unusual  amount  of  gun  play  in  this  family. 
The  son,  Charles,  was  accidentally  wounded  by  a  mob  in  Colorado;  George 
shot  and  killed  Colbert  Strahl  and  at  the  same  time  wounded  Jesse  Mill- 
hollin  near  Oakfield,  in  1883;  Willis  was  shot  and  seriously  wounded  in 
Elkhorn  the  same  year,  in  the  celebrated  horse  thief  mob  case,  and  Frank 
was  afterwards  shot  and  killed  in  Colorado.  The  children  were :  Charles, 
who  married  Anna  Burbank;  George,  married  Lucy  Norton;  Willis,  mar- 
ried Belle  Overholt;  Frank,  Grace  and  Ray. 

Isaac  Peter  Hallock,  Jr.,  was  born  in  Kendall  county,  Illinois,  on 
March  21,  1840.  He  married  at  Oakfield,  Iowa,  in  1868,  Malinda,  the 
daughter  of  William  Canfield  and  Harriet  Ruth  (Thayer)  Norton,  and  who 
was  born  at  Springwater,  New  York,  May  16,  1845.  He  was  a  farmer, 
stock  grower  and  merchant.  He  came  to  Oakfield  in  1856,  with  his  father, 
before  the  town  was  laid  out,  and  they  afterwards  lived  there  together  the 
remainder  of  their  lives.  He  was  a  quiet,  busy  man,  generally  loved  and 
respected  by  his  kindred  and  neighbors.  He  had  a  large  landed  estate  and 
was  a  wealthy  man  at  his  death.  j\t  one  time  he  owned  a  flouring-mill  at 
Oakfield  and  had  a  general  store  there  several  years.  He  had  a  fine  deer 
park,  containing  a  large  herd  of  native  wild  deer,  which  finally  escaped  and 
were  lost.  He  was  a  Republican,  was  county  supervisor  in  1883,  and  held 
local  offices.  His  landed  estate  is  now  possessed  by  his  sons,  Keese  and 
Percy.  He  is  dead  and  his  wife  died  in  1907.  Their  children  were: 
Harriett  Abbie,  who  married  John  Curry;  Clarence  Keese,  married  Olive 
Jenkins,  and  Isaac  Percy,  unmarried. 

Hon.  William  Walker,  son  of  Joseph  and  Catherine  (Sheridan) 
Walker,  was  born  in  Huron  county,  Ohio,  March  2,  1834.  On  February 
18,  1858,  he  married  Nancy  Jane,  daughter  of  William  Henry  Harrison 
and  Eliza  (Watson)  Bowen.  His  father  was  a  native  of  England,  and  it 
is  traditional  that  he  served  in  the  British  army  under  the  Duke  of  Welling- 
ton. William  Walker  was  a  farmer  and  stockraiser.  He  went  with  his 
parents,  in  1835,  to  Niles,  Alichigan,  and  came  to  Audubon  county  in 
1855.  He  was  a  Republican  in  politics  and  served  as  representative.  He 
was  large  landowner,  and  resided  on  Troublesome  creek,  in  Audubon 
township.  He  was  also  a  merchant  in  Exira  for  several  years.  He  was  a 
member  of  Exodus  Lodge  No.  342,  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  and 
in  religion  was  a  Congregationalist.  He  died  at  Exira  in  1899.  His  chil- 
dren were  as  follow:  John  E.,  who  married  Ida  VanSlyke;  Charles  W., 
deceased;  Francis  A.,  deceased;  Laura  A.,  married  James  D.  Barhan; 
Ulysses  S.,  married  Louisa  Marsh;  Lula  May,  married  James  B.   Rendle- 


man;  Olive  M.,  married  Ralph  D.  Hawk;  Eva  J.,  married  Charles  Jenkins; 
Jay  Grant,  married  Jessie  Pratt. 

David  L.  Anderson,  a  native  of  Virginia,  married  in  Highland  county, 
Ohio,  in  1840,  Mary  Smith.  He  was  a  blacksmith  and  farmer.  He  went 
to  Highland  county,  Ohio,  in  1839;  thence  to  Wappelo  county,  Iowa,  in 
1849;  to  Marion  county,  Iowa,  in  1851,  and  to  Audubon  county  in  1855. 
He  lived  at  Exira  before  the  town  was  laid  out.  He  was  a  Republican  and 
served  as  justice  of  the  peace,  school  director  and  first  postmaster  at  Exira. 
He  was  a  famous  hunter  in  his  day.  He  and  his  son,  John,  served  in  the 
Seventh  Iowa  Cavalry.  Another  son,  William,  was  killed  in  the  army.  He 
died  at  Audubon  in  1901,  and  his  wife  died  at  Exira  in  1900.  Their  chil- 
dren were,  William  S.,  unmarried;  Lysanius  M.,  married  Tryphena  S. 
Hopkins;  John  A.,  unmarried,  murdered  in  1883;  Samuel,  married  Hannah 
Hughes;  Catherine,  married  John  McFadden;  Laura,  married  William  E. 
Hensley;  Adelbert,  married  Elizabeth  . 

William  Canfield  Norton  was  born  in  New  York  state,  January  26, 
1811.  He  married  on  October  5,  1 831,  Ruth  Harriet,  daughter  of  Roswell 
and  Mercy  (Goodwin)  Thayer,  and  who  was  born  on  September  11,  1813. 
From  Springwater,  New  York,  he  moved  to  Allen  county,  Indiana,  before 
1850,  but  returned  to  Springwater.  He  moved  to  Oakfield,  Iowa,  in  1856, 
and  built  a  two-story  dwelling  on  block  10,  Oakfield,  where  they  lived  the 
remainder  of  their  lives,  and  sometimes  kept  hotel.  He  was  a  carpenter  by 
trade.  He  was  a  Republican  and  served  as  postmaster  and  justice  of  the 
peace.  He  and  his  wife  were  Methodists.  He  was  seventh  in  lineal  descent 
from  Thomas  Norton,  who  came  from  Oakley,  Surrey,  England,  to  Boston, 
Massachusetts,  in  1639;  thence  to  New  Haven,  Connecticut,  the  same  year. 
He  was  the  ancestor  of  the  Nortons  of  Guilford,  Connecticut.  Said  Thomas 
Norton  was  lineally  descended  from  Le  Seignior  de  Nourile  (Norvile), 
who  came  to  England  with  William  the  Conqueror,  1066,  and  was  his  con- 
stable. Also,  seventh  in  lineal  descent  from  Thomas  Canfield,  who  came 
from  England  to  Connecticut,  and  was  in  Milford,  Connecticut,  in  1644. 
His  wife  was  seventh  in  lineal  descent  from  Thomas  Thayer,  who  came 
from  Thornbury,  England,  and  settled  in  Braintree,  Massachusetts,  in  1640. 
Also,  eighth  in  lineal  descent  from  Ozias  Goodwin,  who  came  to  Boston, 
Massachusetts,  in  the  "Lion,"  June  16.  1632,  and  settled  in  Hartford,  Con- 
necticut, in  1639.  He  died  at  Avoca,  Iowa,  November  29,  1884,  and  she 
died  at  West  Exira,  Iowa,  June  9,  1882.  Their  children  were  as  follow: 
Mary  Elizabeth,  born  January  5,  1834,  at  Springwater,  married  James  M. 
Jones;  John  Chapin,  born  June   13,    1836,  at  Springwater,  married   Susan 


Ostrander;  Charles  Henry,  born  June  13,  1839,  at  Springwater,  married 
Charlotte  Howlett;  Sarah  Fidelia,  born  March  16,  1842,  at  Portageville, 
married  Elam  Wallace  Pearl;  Malinda  Ann,  born  May  16,  1845,  ^t  Spring- 
water,  married  Isaac  Peter  Hallock;  Jennie  Maria,  born  June  21,  1850,  at 
Allen  county,  Indiana,  married  H.  F.  Andrews;  James  Miner,  born  Decem- 
ber 10,   1854,  at  Springwater,  married  Nettie  Griffith. 

Boynton  G.  Dodge,  a  farmer  and  stockman,  came  from  Henniker,  New 
Hampshire,  to  Audubon  county,  in  1856.  He  bought  the  claim  of  Hiram 
Perkins,  in  section  34,  Hamlin  township,  where  he  lived  the  remainder  of 
his  life.  He  was  a  Republican  and  served  as  a  member  of  the  board  of 
supervisors  and  as  superintendent  of  schools.  In  religion,  he  was  a  Con- 
gregationalist.  He  and  his  wife,  Saphronia,  died  in  Audubon  county. 
Their  children  were,  Nettie  M.,  married  Charley  A.  Bartlett;  Arthur  C, 
never  married;  Anna,  died  young;  Capitola  M.,  died  unmarried;  Roxie  M., 
married  Sanford  Davis;  Ida  E.,  married  William  H.  Dyer;  Evalena,  mar- 
ried Isaac  L.  Statzell  and  W.  F.  Williams ;  Carrie,  died  unmarried ;  Ellen  T., 
married  John  H.  Rendleman;  Merrill  B.,  married  Gertrude  Gates. 

John  W.  Dodge  came  with  his  brother,  Boynton,  from  Henniker,  New 
Hampshire,  to  Audubon  county  in  1856,  and  settled  in  section  34,  Hamlin 
township.  He  was  a  carpenter,  farmer  and  stockman.  He  was  a  Republi- 
can and  a  member  of  the  board  of  supervisors.  He  moved  to  California 
and  died  there.  His  wife  was  Eliza,  the  daughter  of  Samuel  and  Mary 
(Farrell)  Smith.     Their  children  were  Carleton  E.  and  Charles. 

Samuel  Smith  was  born  in  Dauphin  county,  Pennsylvania,  and  married 
Gertrude  Roseboom.  He  went  from  Pennsylvania  to  New  Philadelphia, 
Ohio;  thence  to  Petersburg,  Ohio;  to  Frankfort,  Ohio;  to  Hartford,  Iowa; 
thence  to  Audubon  county,  in  1856,  and  settled  in  section  32,  Greeley 
township;  he  moved  to  the  town  of  Exira,  Iowa,  in  1874.  He  was  a 
well-known  gunsmith  and  farmer.  He  was  a  Republican  and  a  Methodist. 
He  and  his  wife  died  at  Exira  in  1891.  Their  children  were,  Hendrich  R., 
who  never  married;  William  F.  E.,  married  Amanda  Roberts;  Andrew  R., 
married,  first,  Emma  Williams  and,  second,  Mary  E.  Ort;  Mary  Belle,  mar- 
ried John  Hicks. 

Levi  B.  Montgomery,  farmer,  was  born  in  Lima,  Ohio,  in  1810,  and 
married  Fanny  Boyles  at  Erie,  Pennsylvania.  He  moved  from  Ohio  to 
Noble  county,  Indiana ;  thence  to  Hancock  county,  Illinois ;  came  to  Audu- 
bon county,  in  1856,  and  settled  in  section  3,  Exira  township.  He  was  a 
Republican  and  served  as  county  superintendent.  He  was  a  ^Methodist  class 
leader.     He  and  his  wife  died  at  Exira,  he  is  1866  and  she  in  1873.     Their 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  1 33 

children  were  as  follow :  Eli,  who  married  Catherine  Barber ;  William 
Noble,  who  went  to  California;  Phebe  J.,  married  George  Sharp;  Hannah 
A.,  married  Perriander  Lewis;  George  S.,  married  Harriet  Stanford;  John 
W.,  never  married;  Louisa  C,  married  Peoria  L  Whitted;  Joel  B.,  never 
married;  Minerva  E.,  married  Robert  Edwards;  Margaret  M.,  married  J. 
H.  Harrington;  Levi  J.,  married  Emma  Wiggins;  Marion  A.,  married 
Louisa  Erickson;  Alice  H.,  married  William  Rudge. 

Daniel  Crane,  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  and  a  blacksmith  and  farmer, 
married  Ann  Eckman.  He  lived  in  Petersburg.  Ohio,  but  moved  to  Marion 
county,  Iowa,  in  1854,  and  to  Audubon  county,  in  1855.  He  was  a  Demo- 
crat. He  and  his  wife  passed  away  at  Exira,  he  in  1876  and  she  in  1901. 
aged  ninety-seven  years.  To  them  were  born  four  children :  Mary  Ann, 
who  married  Frank  Salter;  John,  married  Mary  L  Harris;  Catherine,  mar- 
ried John  A.  Hallock ;  Van  Buren,  married  Mary  E.  Bush. 

Howard  J.  Green,  son  of  Allen  and  Clarissa  Green,  was  born  in  Ren- 
sselaer county,  New  York,  May  4,  1828.  On  November  28,  1850,  he  mar- 
ried Cordelia  M.,  daughter  of  Nelson  and  Theodosia  (Holcom)  Reed,  and 
who  was  born  in  Granby,  Connecticut.  He  became  a  machinist,  farmer  and 
millman.  He  lived  at  Williamstown,  Massachusetts,  in  1844-7;  moved 
thence  to  Chicopee,  Massachusetts,  where  he  lived  until  1850;  thence  to 
Jackson  county.  Iowa,  and  came  to  Audubon  county,  in  1856.  A  Republi- 
can 'in  politics,  he  served  as  swamp  land  commissioner,  township  trustee  and 
subdirector.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Loyal  Legion  in  war  time;  secured 
and  secreted  arms  and  ammunition  in  his  house  for  the  Union  men;  assisted 
runaway  negroes  on  their  journey  to  liberty  and  was  a  big-hearted,  generous 
man  and  highly  esteemed.  The  community  suffered  a  great  loss  in  his 
death.  He  and  his  wife  died  in  Audubon  county,  he  on  June  2,  1873.  and 
she  on  January  28,  1898.  Their  children  were  born  as  follow:  Emma 
Cordelia,  married  John  R.  Thacher ;  Henry  Howard,  married  Mary  Keith ; 
Clara  Ellen,  who  married  John  I.  Jones;  Dewey  Wells,  died  unmarried; 
Walker  Wallace,  married  Anna  May  Neff;  Edwin  Ellsworth,  died  unmar- 
ried ;  Mary  Grace,  married  Jasper  W.  McClain. 

Appollonias  Bohon  Houston,  son  of  Oswald  and  Anna  Louisa  (Shaw) 
Houston,  was  born  in  South  CaroHna  on  February  16,  1823.  In  1844  he 
married  Nancy,  daughter  of  James  C.  Bridges.  He  was  a  carpenter  and 
merchant  at  Williamsport,  Tennessee,  and  Atlanta,  Georgia.  He  came  from 
Tennessee  to  Audubon  county  with  a  team  in  1856,  settling  in  Exira  in  1857, 
where  he  lived  the  remainder  of  his  life.  A  Democrat,  he  rendered  effi- 
cient  service   as   deputy   clerk  of   the   district   court,    county   judge,    county 


treasurer,  justice  of  the  peace  and  mayor  of  Exira.  He  was  a  merchant 
in  Exira,  and  in  partnership  with  Nathaniel  HamHn,  engaged  in  the  real 
estate  business.  He  was  proprietor  of  the  Houston  house,  now  the  Park 
hotel.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Masonic  order.  He  died  in  1902.  Their 
children  were  as  follow:  Henry  Bohon,  who  married  Ida  F.  Herrick; 
Eudora  Indiana  married  William  F.  Stotts;  Louise  Blake  married  Matthew 
Ragan;  Oswald  James  married  Mary  Dissmore;  William  Walter  married 
Lora  Fitch ;  Flora  Douglas  married  David  B.  Lyons ;  Mary  married  Thomas 
Bryant;  Charles  Washington  married  Anna  Belle  Gault;  Robert  Lee,  un- 
married ;  Eliza  Amanda  married  George  H.  Henshaw. 

Washington  Bartlett,  who  was  born  in  Virginia  on  September  19,  1820, 
married,  first,  Margaret  Brier  and,  second,  Martha  E.  Cuppy.  He  was  a 
farmer.  In  1831  he  went  with  his  father  to  Warren  county,  Indiana,  and 
came  to  Audubon  county  in  1856,  becoming  a  successful  farmer.  He  was 
a  Republican,  a  member  of  the  board  of  supervisors  and  justice  of  the  peace. 
His  mother,  Sabrina  Hill,  was  a  niece  of  Thomas  Jefferson.  He  died  at 
Brayton,  Iowa.  He  was  the  father  of  three  chHdren,  namely:  Elbridge  G., 
married;  Lillie,  who  married  Joseph  M.  Reynolds;  Horace  M.,  who  married 
Jeanette  Jenkins. 

Albert  I.  Brainard,  a  carpenter,  was  a  native  of  New  York,  and  mar- 
ried Emily  M.  Lilly.  He  came  to  Audubon  county  from  Geneseo,  Illinois, 
in  1859  or  i860.  He  was  a  Democrat,  and  served  as  clerk  of  the  district 
court  and  first  county  auditor.  He  lived  in  Exira,  but  later  moved  to  Audu- 
bon, where  he  died.  He  was  the  father  of  the  following  children :  Albert 
Kirk,  who  married  Emma  Prather;  Frank  E.  died  unmarried;  Emma  mar- 
ried Rev.  Charles  H.  Mcintosh;  Carrie  L.  married  Hans  A.  Christiansen; 
Fannie  E.  married  George  Ditzenberger ;  Ethelbert  died  unmarried ;  Walter 
A.  never  married. 

Leonard  Early  came  from  Henry  county  to  Audubon  county  in  1859, 
and  here  became  a  farmer.  He  settled  in  section  15,  Exira  township,  and 
afterwards  moved  to  the  town  of  Exira.  He  was  a  Democrat.  He  was 
twice  married.  He  went  to  California  and  died  there,  Mrs.  Early  dying  at 
Exira.  His  children  by  his  first  wife  were:  Thirza,  who  married  Avery 
Belcher;  Mary,  who  married  John  E.  McConnell;  Caroline,  who  married 
W.  A.  Ellis;  Worth,  who  married  Harriet  Bruner;  Ann,  who  married 
Mr.  James.  By  his  second  wife  there  were  born  four  children,  namely: 
Sophia,  who  married  Mr.  Lincoln;  Alvin;  Olive,  who  married  Mr.  Trace- 
well  ;  Lillie,  who  married  William  Chrisman. 



The   following  is  a  list  of  the  United   States  surveys  of  government 
lands  in  Audubon  county,  also  by  whom  and  when  made: 

The  correction  line,  between  townships  78  and  79,  by  I.  Marsh,   184S. 

The  east,  south  and  west  lines  of  township  78,  range  34   (Audubon) 
by  Andrew  Leech,  June,   1849. 

The  south  and  west  lines  of  township  78,  range  35,  and  the  south  and 
west  lines  of  township  78,  range  36,  by  John  P.  Conkey,  August,  1851. 

The  east  lines  of  township  79,  range  34;  township  80,  range  34,  and 
township  81,  range  34,  by  I.  Ellis,  1849. 

The  remainder  of  the  township  and  range  lines  in  the  county,  by  A. 
Anderson,   1851. 

The  following  are  the  subdivisions  of  townships  into  sections,  showing 
by  whom  and  when  made : : 

Township  78,   range  34    (Audubon),   by  Elisha  S.   Norris,   November 
14  to  20,  1851. 

Township  78,  range  35    (Exira),  by  William  H.  Henderson,  October 
13  to  27,  1851. 

Township  78,  range  36  (Oakfield),  by  Daniel  W.  Henderson,  October 
28  to  November  6,  1852. 

Township  79,  range  34  (Greeley),  by  Ambrose  Carpenter,  October  16 
to  23,  1852. 

Township  79,  range  35  (Hamlin),  by  Adam  Perry,  November  8  to  20, 

Township   79,   range   36    (Sharon),   by  Adam   Perry,   May    16  to  23, 

Township  80,  range  34  (Melville),  by  Ambrose  Carpenter,  October  25 
to  November  i,  1852. 

Township  80,  range  35   (Leroy),  by  Adam  Perry,  December  6  to  12, 

Township  80,  range  36  (Douglas),  by  Joseph  H.  D.  Street  and  Rich- 
ard H.  Worden,  June  13  to  18,  1853. 


Township  81,  range  "34  (Viola),  by  Ambrose  Carpenter,  November  3 
to  10,  1852. 

Township  81,  range  35  (Cameron),  by  Joseph  H.  D.  Street  and  Rich- 
ard H.  Wordenu,  November  2  to  13,  1852. 

Township  81,  range  36  (Lincohi).  by  Joseph  H.  D.  Street  and  Richard 
H.  Worden,  June  6  to  12,  1853. 

Dr.  Samuel  M.  Ballard  was  financially  interested  in  the  Perry  and 
Henderson  surveys.     His  sons  assisted  in  making  them. 

The  surveyors  entered  into  their  field  notes  mentions  of  some  of  the 
early  settlers,  viz.:  Monday.  October  13,  1851,  in  running  the  line  between 
sections  35  and  36,  in  township  78,  range  35,  entered  Nathaniel  Hamlin's 
field,  forty  acres.  On  the  same  day,  widow  Hoggard's  house,  five  chains 
vv^est  of  line  between  sections  25  and  26;  cabin  on  the  northeast  quarter  of 
the  southeast  quarter  of  section  26.  October  18.  Powell's  cabin,  on  section  3. 
October  21,  Philip  A.  Decker's  breaking,  three  and  one-half  acres  on  sec- 
tion 17.  October  24,  John  Jenkin's  cabin,  on  section  20.  October  28,  1852, 
Samuel  M.  Ballard  has  twenty-five  acres  broken  on  the  northwest  quarter 
of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  36,  township  78,  range  36,  and  Benjamin 
Hiatt  resides  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  36. 

The  plat  of  the  survey  of  township  78.  range  35,  shows  that  the  section 
line  between  sections  35  and  36  passed  through  Nathaniel  Hamlin's  field, 
about  half  the  breaking  on  each  side  of  the  line,  being  in  the  northeast 
quarter  of  section  35  and  the  same  amount  in  the  northwest  quarter  of 
section  36.  Also,  that  the  line  between  sections  16  and  17  passed  through 
Decker's  field,  his  breaking  extending  from  northwest  to  southeast,  about 
half  in  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  17,  and  a  like  amount  in  the  north- 
west quarter  of   section    16. 


During  the  year  1853.  the  following  named  residents  of  Audurx)n 
county  made  entries  of  land  at  the  United  States  land  office,  viz. :  Reuben 
Carpenter.  Samuel  M.  Ballard,  Nathaniel  Plamlin,  Mark  Heath.  Milton 
Heath  and  Alvin  Herrick. 

During  the  year  1855  entries  of  land  were  made  as  follow,  viz.: 
Samuel  M.  Ballard,  John  W.  Beers,  George  H.  Calder,  Reuben  Carpenter, 
John  Countryman,  James  B.  Donnel.  Richard  Gault.  Nathaniel  Hamlin, 
Mark  Heath,  Alvin  Herrick,   Edson  Herrick,    Benjamin   F.   Jenkins,   John 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  1 37 

S.    Jenkins,   Isaac  V.   D.   Lewis,   Bryant   Milliman,   Daniel   B.    Reese,   John 
Seiford.  \\'illiam  Shirley,  Robert  Stansberry,  Peoria  I.  Whitted. 

During  the  year  1855  entries  of  land  were  made  as  follows,  viz.: 
Mary  Anderson,  Norman  W.  Archer,  Samuel  "SI.  Ballard,  William  F.  Bal- 
lard, John  W.  Beers,  William  Carpenter,  Michael  Scharff,  Daniel  Crane, 
Charles  B.  Cross,  Howard  J.  Green,  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  Daniel  M.  Harris, 
Urbane  Herrick,  William  Holdcroft,  John  S.  Jenkins,  \\'alter  J.  Jardine, 
Alexander  Kincaid,  Charles  E.  Marsh,  Richard  C.  Meek,  Hiram  Perkins. 
George  T.   Poage.   Samuel  Smith,  W^illiam  Walker. 


William  Shirley  to  Bryant  ]\Iilliman,  July  i,  185-I-;  William  Powell 
to  Bryant  Milliman,  August  16,  1854;  Wm.  W.  Wilhngham  to  Thomas  S. 
Lewis,  November  6,  1854;  William  W.  Willingham  to  John  S.  Jenkins, 
November  6,  1854;  Samuel  B.  Hopkins  to  John  S.  Jenkins,  August  16, 
1855;  Isaac  P.  Hallock  to  Erasmus  D.  Bradley,  May  22,  1855;  John  Coun- 
tryman to  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  August  18,  1855;  Wm.  W.  Willingham  to 
Howard  J.  Green,  April  i,  1856. 



A  majority  of  the  first  settlers  were  of  Southern  extraction.  And  so, 
at  the  first  presidental  election,  in  1856,  James  Buchanan  received  fifty-six 
votes,  while  John  C.  Fremont  received  but  twenty-nine  votes.  In  i860 
Stephen  A.  Douglas  received  eighty- four  votes,  and  Abraham  Lincoln,  but 
thirteen.  In  1864  George  B.  McClellan  received  sixty-one  votes,  and  Lin- 
coln, but  twenty-three. 

It  is  a  fact  that  there  have  been  few  exceptions  since  the  organization 
of  the  county  when  members  of  both  parties  did  not  hold  some  of  the 
county  offices.  The  first  acquaintance  the  writer  had  with  political  affairs 
in  the  county  was  in  1865,  when  the  Democrats  made  a  clean  sweep  and 
elected  all  of  the  county  officers.  In  celebration  of  that  event,  the  officers- 
elect  gave  a  supper  at  the  Perry  hotel.  It  was  a  merry  affair,  with  a  dance 
attached.  Some  of  those  who  attended  the  supper  were:  John  S.  Jenkins, 
Benjamin  F.  Jenkins,  Isaac  H.  Jenkins.  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  Thomas  S. 
Lewis,  A.  B.  Houston  Daniel  Crane,  John  Crane,  Albert  I.  Brainard,  P.  I. 
Whitted,  Richard  Gault,  Urbane  Herrick  and  Hendrick  R.  Smith.  The 
names  of  others  are  forgotten.  They  had  not  only  a  noble  table  spread,  but 
also  an  abundance  of  "liquid  inspiration."  When  the  company  were  about 
to  sit  down  to  the  "temporal  blessings,"  "Uncle"  John  Jenkins,  county 
judge-elect,  was  called  on  for  a  speech.  Now  "Uncle  Johnny"  was  not 
noted   for  lengthy  orations,  and   so  he  gave  this  sentiment:   "I  am  Judge 

Jenkins,    from  Kentucky,   and  the   father  of  this   supper,   sirs,   by   G ! 

Now,  gentlemen,  take  hold,"  and  the  supper  proceeded. 

Elections  were  held  in  the  county  annually  until  1906.  About  half  of 
the  officers,  whose  terms  were  for  two  years,  were  elected  in  one  year,  and 
the  remainder  in  the  following  year,  and  so  on  in  succession.  Not  until 
about  1878-9  was  a  delegate  convention  held  in  the  county.  It  was  the  cus- 
tom for  any  voter  who  desired,  to  attend  and  take  part  in  the  conventions'  of 
his  party.     The  meetings  were  sometimes  sparsely  attended. 

The  first  convention  ever  attended  by  the  writer  was  at  Exira  in  the 
fall  of  the  year  1866,  wholly  a  novel  experience,  and  without  the  slightest 


idea  of  being  a  candidate  for  office.  It  was  convened  in  the  old  school 
house,  with  very  few  in  attendance,  among  whom  were  the  chairman,  J.  L. 
Frost,  Deacon  Lyman  Bush  and  Andrew  M.  Hardy.  It  was  a  very  informal 
meeting.  Several  were  suggested  and  discussed  as  candidates.  Mr.  Hardy 
asked  me  if  I  would  accept  the  nomination  for  recorder.  I  said  that  I  had 
no  knowledge  of  the  duties  of  the  office.  Without  much  discussion,  it  was 
put  to  vote  and  I  was  formally  nominated.  Darius  Barlow,  who  was  not 
present,  was  nominated  in  the  same  manner  for  clerk,  and  the  meeting 
adjourned  with  an  informal  understanding  that  the  ticket  was  to  be  filled 
out  later.  Barlow  declined  to  accept  the  nomination,  and  John  A.  Hallock 
was  afterwards  substituted  by  common  consent.  Washington  Bartlett  was 
put  on  the  ticket  for  supervisor  in  the  same  way.  The  vote  on  recorder  that 
year  stood  seventy-eight  to  sixty-nine,  in  my  favor,  which  was  considered 
overwhelming!  Mr.  Bartlett  was  also  elected,  but  Hallock  was  defeated. 
The  ballots  that  year  for  Exira  and  Oakfield  township  were  written  by 
hand  with  pens  by  John  A.  Hallock,  George  A.  Dissmore  and  H.  F. 

In  1867  ^^^^  Republican  ticket,  so  far  as  recalled,  was:  Charles  Van 
Gorder,  for  treasurer;  David  L.  Anderson,  for  sheriff;  J.  L.  Frost,  for  sur- 
veyor. The  Democratic  ticket  was :  Amherst  Heath,  for  county  judge ; 
A.  B.  Houston,  for  treasurer;  John  Huntley,  for  sheriff;  P.  I.  Whitted.  for 
surveyor.  The  entire  Democatic  ticket  was  elected.  The  vote  on  the  state 
ticket  stood  ninety-two  to  eighty,  in  favor  of  the  Democrats.  The  principal 
fight  on  the  county  ticket  was  over  the  office  of  treasurer.  Mr.  Houston 
was  a  wily,  crafty,  tricky  politician.  He  had  the  rare  faculty  of  concealing 
his  designs.  No  man  in  this  county  ever  better  understood  the  method. 
He  was  experienced;  had  been  in  partnership  with  Mr.  Hamlin  for  several 
years;  had  held  the  offices  of  county  judge  and  deputy  clerk  of  court,  and 
was  then  holding  the  office  of  treasurer.  He  was  backed  by  the  Hamlin 
influence,  was  the  leading  merchant  in  the  county,  and  had  many  influential 
friends  by  reason  of  business  relations.  Van  Gorder  was  justly  popular 
as  a  young  man,  and  especially  on  account  of  his  soldier  record ;  but  he 
had  no  previous  political  experience,  and  had  made  no  special  canvass  for 
the  office.  While  the  party  majority  was  against  him,  ninety-two  to  eighty, 
he  was  defeated  by  twenty-six  votes,  a  signal  defeat  at  the  time.  It  was 
accomplished  by  a  trick.  Word  was  quietly  passed  around  on  election  day 
by  the  Democrats  that  he  was  not  competent  for  the  office,  and  was  only  a 
brickmaker,  etc.,  and  that  if  elected,  John  A.  Hallock,  an  unpopular  man, 
was  to  be  appointed  his  deputy  to  conduct  the  business  of  the  office.     Not  a 


word  of  it  was  true.  The  Republicans  did  not  discover  the  fraud  until  too 
late  to  remedy  the  attack.  They  were  caught  napping  without  a  chance  of 
defense,  and  the  scheme  succeeded  as  intended. 

In  the  spring  of  1868  the  Repuljlican  convention  was  called  by  the 
chairman,  J.  L.  Frost,  to  meet  at  the  Green  school  house.  A  few  members 
attended  under  the  call,  transacted  the  business,  amongst  which  H.  F.  An- 
drews was  appointed  chairman  of  the  central  committee,  and  adjourned. 
Tn  due  time,  the  new  chairman  called  the  county  convention  for  nomination 
of  county  officers,  etc.,  to  meet  at  the  Green  school  house,  which  was  fol- 
lowed by  a  similar  notice  given  Ijv  Judge  Hallock,  of  Oakfield,  purporting 
to  be  county  chairman,  for  the  same  purpose,  to  be  held  at  the  same  time 
and  place.  The  double  notice  was  a  surprise  to  many.  1)ut  brought  out 
an  unusual  attendance.  Tt  developed  that  there  was  a  schism  in  the  party, 
previously  unknown  to  the  new  comers  to  the  county.  INIr.  Frost  was  on 
hand  to  represent  his  faction,  claiming  that  it  had  the  only  regular  authority 
to  act,  while  Doctor  Ballard  and  his  brother,  "Uncle  Fred."  insisted  that 
Judge  Hallock  was  the  only  authorized  chairman.  Some  of  the  Democrats 
were  present  to  witness  the  jangle.  It  was  admitted  that  the  previous  con- 
vention in  the  spring  was  regularly  called  by  IVIr.  Frost;  and  it  fairly  ap- 
peared that  Mr.  Frost  and  his  associates  had  attended  the  meeting,  trans- 
acted the  business  and  adjourned.  On  the  other  hand.  "Uncle  Fred"  Bal- 
lard stated  that  he  aj)peared  at  the  meeting  place — presumably  after  the 
Frost  meeting  had  adjourned — and  observing  the  call  posted  there,  and  that 
the  hour  of  meeting  had  arrived,  hitched  his  horse,  went  into  the  school 
house,  called  the  meeting  to  order,  and  proceeded  to  transact  business. 
Doctor  Ballard  and  himself  were  appointed  delegates  to  the  state  conven- 
tion, and  Judge  Hallock  was  appointed  chairman  of  the  county  central 
committee.  He  said  that  he  was  the  only  one  present  and  that  he  presided, 
and  averred  that  the  meeting  was  perfectly  harmonious,  and  that  the  busi- 
ness was  conducted  by  unanimous  consent.  And  it  appeared  that  Doctor 
Ballard  and  "Uncle  Fred"  had  attended  as  delegates  to  the  state  conven- 
tion under  authority  of  that  "meeting." 

Mr.  Frost  pointed  out  the  absurdity  of  "Uncle  Fred's"  performance; 
that  is  was  a  farce,  and  that,  consequently.  Judge  Hallock  had  no  authority 
to  act.  in  which  he  was  sustained  by  most  of  those  present.  Some  others 
joined  with  the  Ballards.  right  or  wrong.  The  situation  was  serious  and 
protended  danger  to  the  party  organization.  Doctor  Ballard  harangued 
the  meeting  and  waxed  eloquent.  He  said  that  he  had  been  fighting  Demo- 
crats all  his  life.     "I  fought  that  old  man   (Frost)   when  he  was  a  Demo- 


crat.  and  he  was  the  meanest  one  I  ever  knew."  Ballard  and  Frost  both 
came  from  Iowa  City,  where  the  Doctor  had  been  proprietor  of  the  Iowa 
City  Re  publican,  the  leading  paper  at  one  time  in  Iowa,  and  was  in  position 
to  have  known  Frost's  political  pedigree.  That  shot  settled  it.  Mr.  Frost 
left  the  meeting  in  anger,  and  was  never  afterwards  seen  in  a  convention  in 
Audubon  county.  The  meeting  amicably  recognized  Judge  Hallock  as 
county  chairman,  and  proceeded  to  nominate  a  county  ticket,  viz.  :  John 
M.  Griggs,  for  county  judge;  John  W.  Scott,  for  clerk  of  court;  H.  F. 
Andrews,  for  recorder;  Boynton  G.  Dodge,  for  superintendent,  and  Jacob 
Andrews,  for  supervisor. 

On  the  Democratic  ticket  were:  Albert  I.  Brainard,  for  county  judge; 
John  Crane,  for  clerk  of  courts,  and  W^illiam  F.  Stotts,  for  recorder. 

There  was  no  newspaper  in  the  county  for  publishing  news  at  that 
time.  It  was  spread  by  word  of  mouth.  Meeting  Mr.  Frost  soon  after- 
ward, he  inquired  the  result  of  the  convention,  and  when  informed  about 
the  ticket  selected,  he  angrily  remarked :  "Well,  you  have  made  a  ticket,  but 
you  will  have  a  good  time  electing  it."  And  he  was  right.  Scott  was 
elected  by  four  majority;  Dodge  and  Jacob  Andrews  were  elected;  Griggs 
was  defeated  by  two  votes  and  H.  F.  Andrews,  by  six  votes. 

The  popular  opinion  was  that  \^an  Gorder  did  not  have  a  fair  show 
in  1867  ^"d  it  was  determined  to  give  him  another  race.  The  Republican 
ticket  for  1869  had  Charles  Van  Gorder,  for  treasurer;  Samuel  R.  Thomas, 
for  sheriff ;  Boynton  G.  Dodge,  for  superintendent,  and  Charles  FI. 
Andrews,  for  surveyor.  The  Democratic  ticket  had  A.  B.  Houston,  for 
treasurer;  Colbert  Strahl,  for  sheriff;  David  B.  Beirs,  for  superintendent, 
and  P.  I.  Whitted,  for  surveyor.  This  time  Mr.  Houston  was  unfortunate. 
Some  time  prior  to  1869,  one  Darias  Barlow  obtained  a  judgment  against 
one  Bradley  Beers,  who  owned  a  farm  near  old  Hamlin;  but,  to  defeat  Bar- 
low, he  put  the  title  to  his  land  in  the  name  of  Asahel  Wakeman,  who  lived 
in  New  York  state,  from  whence  Barlow  and  Beers  had  emigrated  to 
Audubon  county.  Beers  sold  his  farm  and  the  proceeds  were  deposited 
with  Houston  pending  the  delivery  of  the  deed.  Wakeman  came  on  to 
Exira  to  make  the  deed.  Barlow  procured  an  execution  and  Houston  was 
attached  as  garnishee  of  Beers  and  delivered  the  purchase-money  for  the 
farm  to  the  officer,  and  in  that  way  Barlow  collected  his  debt  from  Beers. 
Mr.  Houston  made  the  grand  mistake  of  pretending  to  be  the  friend  of 
both  Beers  and  Barlow ;  but  ended  by  making  Beers  his  bitter  enemy.  Beers 
was  a  prominent,  leading  worker  in  the  Democratic  party  and  from  the 
time  Van  Gorder  and  Houston  were  nominated  for  the  race  for  treasurer, 

142  AUDUBON    COUNTY_,    IOWA. 

he  made  it  his  business  to  visit  all  the  Democrats  in  the  county  and  ate  with 
them.  He  succeeded  emphatically  in  putting  out  the  poison  which  defeated 
Mr.  Houston.  The  party  vote  that  year  stood  one  hundred  and  eighteen  to 
one  hundred  and  fourteen,  in  favor  of  the  Democrats.  Van  Gorder  was 
elected  by  eleven  majority.  It  was  considered,  under  all  the  circumstances, 
a  famous  victory.  Van  Gorder  served  four  years.  At  the  time  he  took  the 
office  the  records  were  in  a  deplorable  condition,  but  he  worked  diligently 
and  straightened  them  out.  He  was  the  father  of  the  financial  system  of 
Audubon  county. 

The  elections  for  county  officers  in  1870,  1871  and  1872  were  not 
particularly  remarkable,  except  that  the  court-house  and  county-seat  fights 
waxed  warm,  and  at  the  election  in  1873  the  question  of  moving  the  county 
seat  to  Hamlin  was  submitted  and  defeated.  In  1873  the  whole  people 
of  the  county  were  bristling  over  the  county-seat  contest,  and  the  north  part 
of  the  county  was  gradually  receiving  new  settlers  and  gaining  strength. 
An  account  of  this  period  will  be  found  in  the  chapter  on  County-Seat 

Party  lines  were  entirely  lost  sight  of  this  year.  The  Exira  party 
met  in  mass  convention  of  all  parties  at  the  school  house  and,  having  first 
established  the  basis  of  selecting  the  candidates  from  both  parties,  alter- 
nately, or  nearly  as  convenient,  agreed  on  the  following  ticket :  H.  S. 
Wattles,  Republican,  for  auditor;  W.  F.  Stotts,  Democrat,  for  treasurer; 
John  B.  Counrardy,  Democrat,  for  sheriff;  Harmon  G.  Smith,  Republican, 
for  superintendent,  and  P.  I.  Whitted,  Democrat,  for  surve3^or.  The  op- 
position put  up  the  following  nominees :  Samuel  A.  Graham,  Democrat,  for 
auditor;  H.  Ransford,  Republican,  for  treasurer;  Samuel  P.  Zike.  for 
sheriff;  John  A.  Hallock,  Republican,  for  superintendent,  and  Dan  P. 
McGill,  Republican,  for  surveyor. 

It  was  a  fierce  campaign  and  bitter,  not  so  much  for  or  against  the 
candidates,  as  it  was  for  and  against  Exira.  The  people  of  the  south  part 
of  the  county  were  far  the  more  numerous,  but  were  foolishly  divided  into 
factions,  by  old  grouches  among  themselves.  The  Exira  ticket  was  elected 
in  toto,  by  majorities  from  seventeen  to  one  hundred  and  four.  For  years 
afterwards  local  party  lines  were  shattered  and  lost.  It  established  a  pre- 
cident  in  Audui^on  county,  the  result  of  which  has  not  disappeared  at  the 
present  time.  It  opened  a  gulf  between  Exira  and  the  remainder  of  the 
county,  which  shifted  to  Audubon  against  Exira  in  the  county-seat  fight  of 
1879,  and  which  has  never  closed.  An  examination  of  the  election  returns 
from   1873  to  the  present  time  will   reveal  the   fact  that  candidates   from 


Exira  on  the  county  ticket  have  too  frequently  gone  down  in  defeat,  engen- 
dered by  the  old  strife,  and  vice  versa. 

The  scope  of  this  work  does  not  afford  space  for  continuance  of  the 
subject.  From  this  period — 1873 — the  county  newspapers  and  the  county 
records  afford  fuller  information,  and  to  which  the  reader  is  referred. 
What  is  here  produced  covers  the  period  before  the  advent  of  newspapers, 
1 87 1,  and  before  the  county  records  were  so  fully  kept  and  preserved.  A 
complete  roster  of  officials  will  be  found  elsewhere  in  the  work. 



When  Dayton  was  selected  the  county  seat,  June  20,  1855,  there  were 
not  to  exceed  seventy  voters  in  the  county  and  nearly  all  of  these  resided  in 
what  is  now  Exira  township;  a  few  lived  adjoining  about  Ballard's,  in  the 
edge  of  what  is  now  Oakfield  township,  and  there  was  one  settler  in  section 
34,  in  what  is  now  Hamlin  township.  Hamlin's  Grove  was  then  the  center 
of  the  business  interests.  Exira  and  Oakfield  had  not  then  been  platted. 
There  were  a  few  settlers  living  where  Oakfield  was  afterwards  laid  out  and 
not  to  exceed  half  a  dozen  families  about  the  future  town  of  Exira. 

At  the  time  the  commissioners  located  the  county  seat  they  visited  the 
settlement  at  Viola,  now  Exira,  which  was  the  extreme  northern  outpost  of 
civilization,  with  no  immediate  prospect  of  further  extension  in  that  direction. 

The  first  sale  of  town  lots  at  Dayton  was  advertised  by  Daniel  M. 
Harris,  county  judge,  for  November  22,  1855,  at  which  time  but  one  lot  was 
sold,  the  price  being  fifty  cents.  The  sale  was  adjourned  to  June  3,  1856, 
when  eighty-five  lots  were  sold,  at  prices  ranging  from  one  dollar  and  fifty 
cents  to  nine  dollars  each.  That  was  about  the  last  public  business  trans- 
acted at  Dayton.  The  two  residents  of  the  town,  Mr.  Archer  and  Rev. 
Mr.  Baker,  soon  moved  away,  and  no  one  has  since  resided  on  the  place. 
It  is  now  occupied  as  a  farm. 

The  first  court  was  held  in  the  log  school  house  at  Hamlin's  Grove  in 
November,  1855.  The  personnel  of  this  first  court  was  as  follows:  Hon.  E. 
H.  Sears,  judge;  John  W.  Beers,  clerk;  Benjamin  M.  Hiatt,  sheriff;  grand 
jury,  David  L.  Anderson,  foreman,  Charles  E.  Marsh,  W.  H.  H.  Bowen, 
J.  L.  Frost,  John  Countryman,  Ed.  Gingery,  John  Crene,  John  Seifford, 
Allen  McDonnell,  John  S.  Johnson,  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  Joseph  S.  Kirk, 
Richard  M.  Lewis.  They  found  an  indictment  against  Thomas  S.  Lewis 
for  illegal  sale  of  intoxicating  liquor. 

The  petit  jury  were,  G.  W.  Taylor.  ]\Iark  Heath,  Hiram  Perkins,  James 
H.  McDonnel,  William  Walker,  William  Carpenter,  George  Wire,  Reuben 
Kenyon,  Bryant  Milliman,  Robert  Stansbery  and  James  Mounts.  The  first 
case  was  Blanchet  S.  Shacklet  vs.  Richard  C.  Meek.     The  jury  retired  to 




the  grove  to  deliberate  on  their  verdict,  and  decided  the  case  "according  to 
law  and  evidence." 

On  March  3,  1856,  a  petition  was  submitted  to  the  county  judge  for 
removal  of  the  county  seat  to  a  place  called  Viola,  now  Exira.  The  prayer 
of  the  petitioners  was  granted  and  the  election  held  at  the  house  of  John  S. 
Jenkins  on  April  7,  1856.  But  the  proposition  was  defeated.  At  an  elec- 
tion held  in  April,  1861,  the  proposition  to  change  the  county  seat  to  Exira 
prevailed.  Old  settlers  do  not  recall  any  spirited  contest  on  that  occasion. 
On  June  6,  1862,  a  petition  was  presented  to  the  sui>ervisors  for  the  removal 
of  the  county  seat  from  Exira  to  Oakfield,  which  was  denied.  In  1866,  a 
petition  was  circulated  asking  the  removal  of  the  county  seat  from  Exira 
to  Louisville,  which  failed  for  the  requisite  number  of  petitioners. 

During  the  years  1872-3  a  fierce,  hot  fight  raged  in  the  county  over  the 
effort  to  remove  the  county  seat  from  Exira  to  Hamlin.  John  W.  Scott, 
Esq.,  of  Exira,  was  leader  of  the  Hamlin  forces,  assisted  by  Freeman,  San- 
born, Kimball,  Gunn  and  others  in  the  north  part  of  the  county,  by  O.  C. 
Keith  and  others  from  Oakfield,  and  by  Nathaniel  Hamlin,  Newt  Donnel 
and  others  from  Troublesome.  The  people  of  Exira  proper  were  united, 
"tooth  and  toe-nail,"  to  resist  the  effort. 

Mr.  Hamlin  and  an  able  array  of  associates  iaid  out  an  elegant  town 
site  in  sections  t  and  2,  in  what  is  now  Hamlin  township,  called  Hamlin,  in 
1872;  but  the  plat  was  not  recorded  until  the  following  year. 

Petitions  for  the  removal  were  circulated  to  all  parts  and  corners  of  the 
county,  and  remonstrances  were,  in  like  manner,  circulated  by  Exira  people. 
The  excitement  was  intense  and  the  whole  people  were  on  the  war-path,  tak- 
ing part  in  the  controversy.  Messengers  of  both  factions  were  out  canvass- 
ing for  signers,  some  on  foot,  some  on  horseback  and  others  in  carnages. 
It  was  a  livelv  time  and  every  voter  in  the  county  was  interviewed,  and  some 
of  them  many  times.  As  soon  as  one  party  would  secure  a  signer  to  the 
petition  or  remonstrance,  another  canvasser  would  be  after  him  to  get  his 
name  on  the  opposition  paper.  Printed  slips  were  used  declaring  how  the 
signer  desired  his  name  to  be  counted,  either  for  the  petition  or  for  the 
remonstrance,  as  the  case  might  be,  bearing  date,  the  day,  hour  and  minute 
when  signed. 

There  were   then   living  south   of   Exira   some   people   called   "Woods 

Rats."     It  was  a  sort  of  neutral  territory,  the  people  of  which  did  not  seem 

to  have  anv  decided  opinion  on  the  question,  but  would  sign  any  and  all 

papers,    petition,    remonstrance   or   printed    slip,    presented   to    them.     They 



vacillated  back  and  forth  from  petition  to  remonstrance,  and  vice  versa. 
One  man  changed  his  mind  eight  times  by  signing  the  various  papers  and 
slips.  The  law  as  it  then  stood  made  no  express  provision  to  cover  such 
case,  and  the  contestants  acted  on  the  theory  that  the  last  signing  indicated 
the  preference  of  the  party  signing;  hence  the  importance  of  giving  exact 
date  of  signing  to  a  minute.  The  law  has  since  been  changed  in  that  respect, 
declaring  that  where  the  name  of  the  same  person  appears  both  on  the  peti- 
tion and  remonstrance,  it  shall  be  counted  for  the  remonstrance  onh^ 

During  the  last  twenty-four  hours  of  the  contest  all  parties  were 
on  the  alert.  The  writer  was  directing  the  work  of  the  remonstrators,  with 
headquarters  at  the  Houston  house.  Messengers  of  both  parties  were  run- 
ning all  night  in  all  directions,  seeking  the  very  latest  signatures  to  the 
printed  slips,  before  mentioned.  Royal  Lespenasse,  the  editor  of  the  Sentinel, 
was  doing  yeoman  service  on  that  duty  for  Exira,  and  Newt  Donnel  was 
similarly  employed  for  the  Hamlin  faction.  The  next  day,  September  5, 
1872,  the  hearing  for  decision  came  on  before  the  supervisors.  John  M. 
Griggs  was  my  law  partner  at  the  time,  but  declined  to  assist  the  Exira 
people  and  professed  to  stand  neutral.  I  believed  that  he  secretly  favored 
Mr.  Scott  and  the  Hamlin  faction.  He  took  no  active  part  in  the  contro- 
versy. The  board  of  supervisors  were  John  W.  Dodge,  William  H.  H. 
Bowden  and  John  Noon. 

When  the  petition  and  remonstrance  had  been  canvassed  it  was  found 
that  the  petitioners  exceeded  the  names  on  the  remonstrance,  and  that  the 
signers  of  the  petition  were  a  majority  of  the  voters  in  the  county.  It 
appeared  that  the  Exira  people  were  in  danger  of  defeat.  Mr.  Scott  assumed 
a  triumphant  attitude  and  attempted  to  inform  the  supervisors  how  they 
should  proceed,  as  if  his  case  was  won.  I  was  absolutely  alone,  without  any 
one  competent  to  advise  me,  a  young  man  and  quite  a  new  lawyer.  What  I 
didn't  know  would  have  made  a  big  book.  So  I  determined  to  fis^ht  to  the 
end  of  the  road  and  to  the  last  ditch,  as  we  had  been  in  habit  of  doing  in 
the  army.  T  objected  that  the  supervisors  should  not  submit  the  question 
of  the  remo^•al  of  the  county  seat  from  Exira  to  the  town  of  Hamlin  to  an 
election,  for  the  reason  that  it  did  not  affirmatively  appear  that  there  was  any 
such  place  as  the  town  of  Hamlin  in  Audubon  county,  which  was  true,  and 
I  so  argued.  The  town  plat  of  Hamlin  had  not  then  been  executed  or 
recorded,  so  far  as  the  records  showed ;  and  I  also  claimed  that  it  was  uncer- 
tain that  the  plat  would  be  made  and  recorded.  Mr.  Scott  asserted  that  the 
town  was  surveyed  and  laid  out  on  the  ground,  and  insisted  that  it  was 
sufficient.     He  was   surprised  and  taken  off  his  guard.     I    feared   that  he 


would  proceed  to  record  the  plat,  nunc  pro  tunc,  or  that  he  would  offer  to 
do  so.  But  he  did  not,  and  the  case  was  submitted  to  the  supervisors  for 
their  decision.  They  refused  to  grant  the  prayer  of  the  petition,  Messrs. 
Dodge  and  Bo  wen  voting  not  to  submit  the  proposition  of  removal  to  an 
election,  and  Mr.  Noon  voting  for  the  submission.  The  decision  was  a 
glorious  triumph  for  Exira,  for  the  time  being.  The  manner  of  its  accom- 
plishment was  a  surprise  to  everyone,  except  myself.  I  had  not  dared  to 
announce  my  plan  of  procedure  to  anyone  before  the  hearing,  for  fear  Mr. 
Scott  would  take  warning  and  attempt  to  cure  the  defect. 

In  1873  the  fight  continued  with  renewed  vigor.  The  plat  of  the  town 
of  Hamlin  was  executed  and  recorded  in  April,  1873,  and  another  petition 
was  presented  to  the  supervisors  asking  for  an  order  to  submit  the  question 
to  an  election  whether  the  county  seat  should  be  changed  from  Exira  to 
Hamlin.  The  proper  order  was  made  for  such  election  and  another  active 
county-seat  fight  campaign  ensued.  By  this  time  it  was  the  general  desire 
that  the  question  should  be  settled.  From  an  estimate  of  the  number  of 
voters  in  the  county,  it  then  appeared  that  a  majority  of  them  resided  south 
of  the  correction  line  and  Exira  people  went  into  the  contest  anticipating 
success.  A  better  feeling  existed  between  the  people  of  Exira  township, 
although  some  of  the  people  of  Oakfield  and  Troublesome  were  still  hostile 
to  Exira.  During  the  campaign  a  bond  was  given  by  Exira  parties,  of  which 
the  following  is  a  copy,  with  the  action  of  the  supervisors  thereon : 

"Auditor's  ofifice,  Audubon  county,  Iowa. 

"September  i,  1873.  Board  of  supervisors  met  according  to  law,  mem- 
bers all  present.     John  Noon  in  the  chair. 

"On  motion,  the  following  bond  was  ordered  placed  on  record  and 
printed  as  a  part  of  the  proceedings  of  the  board : 

"Know  all  men  b}-  these  presents,  that  we.  Charles  \"an  Gorder,  A.  B. 
Houston,  J.  D.  Bush,  J.  A.  Hallock,  P.  I.  Whitted  and  A.  Campbell,  are 
held  and  firmly  bound  unto  the  county  of  Audubon  and  state  of  Iowa  in  the 
penal  sum  of  five  thousand  dollars,  well  to  be  made  out  of  the  goods  and 
chattels,  lands  and  tenements. 

"Dated  at  Exira,  Audubon  countv,  Iowa,  this   ist  day  of  September, 

1873-  ... 

"To  be  void  upon  the  following  conditions :     Whereas,  the  honorable 

board  of  supervisors  of  .Vudubon  county,  Iowa,  did,  at  the  June  meeting  in 

1873,  order  an  election  to  be  held  in  said  county,  on  the  day  of  the  general 

election  in   1873,  ^o  determine  the  voice  of  the  people  for  and  against  the 

removal  of  the  county  seat  from  Exira  to  the  town  of  Hamlin. 


"And  whereas,  the  citizens  of  Exira  being  opposed  to  the  removal  of 
the  county  seat,  and  therefore  offer  and  bind  themselves  unto  the  county  of 
Audubon,  and  state  of  Iowa,  to  furnish  to  said  county,  free  of  expense,  a 
good  and  sulxstantial  building  for  the  use  of  the  county  offices  of  the  county, 
a  room  for  the  holding  of  the  district  and  circuit  courts  of  the  county,  and 
the  meeting  of  the  board  of  supervisors,  so  long  as  they  may  be  occupied 
by  the  county  as  pubHc  offices,  upon  the  condition  that  the  said  county  seat 
remain  at  Exira,  as  now  located.  And  in  case  the  said  county  seat  remain 
at  Exira,  and  the  said  bonded  parties  or  their  representatives  build  or  furnish 
said  offices  for  the  use  of  the  county,  and  also  furnish  court  room  and  a 
place  for  holding  the  meetings  of  the  board  of  supervisors  in  accordance 
with  the  stipulations  of  this  bond,  then  these  presents  shall  be  void,  but  on 
the  failure  to  comply  with  the  conditions  of  this  bond  on  the  vote  of  the 
people  refusing  to  relocate  the  county  seat,  then  this  obligation  be  and  remain 
in  full  force  in  law,  said  bonded  parties  to  have  a  reasonable  time  after  the 
general  election  in  which  to  build  said  offices,  and  the  time  to  be  determined 
by  the  board  of  supervisors  on  their  acceptance  of  this  bond. 

"Tn  witness  whereof,  we  have  hereunto  set  our  hands  the  day  and  date 
first  above  written. 

"Charles   Van   Gorder, 
"John  D.  Bush, 

"P.     I.    WniTTED, 

"A.  B.  Houston, 
"J.   A.   Hallock, 
"A.    Campbell." 

"The  above  bond  is  hereby  accepted  and  ordered  placed  on  record  and 
the  time  for  the  erection  of  said  building  is  hereby  limited  to  the  first  day  of 
June,  1874. 

"John  Noon, 
"Chairman  Board  of  Supervisors." 

The  giving  and  acceptance  of  this  bond  undoubtedly  controlled  many 
in  favor  of  Exira.  The  times  were  then  hard  and  ready  money  was  difficult 
to  obtain.  Prices  of  farm  products  were  then  low  in  comparison  with  the 
prices  of  store  goods,  building  materials,  fence  wire,  hardware,  farm 
machinery,  etc.  Many  people,  and  especially  new  settlers,  found  it  difficult 
to  make  a  living  and  many  were  in  debt  for  their  lands  and  farming  outfits. 
Taxes  were  burdensome  even  as  low  as  they  were  at  that  period.     There  was 


but  one  newspaper,  the  Sentinel,  conducted  by  Royal  Lespenasse,  and  located 
at  Exira.  It  stood  for  the  interests  of  Exira,  so  there  was  no  newspaper 
fight  at  that  time. 

When  the  election  was  held  the  proposition  to  change  the  county  seat 
was  defeated  by  a  handsome  majority,  greatly  to  the  disappointment  of  the 
Hamlin  faction.  The  contest  caused  bitterness  and  many  old  grudges  were 
harbored  and  laid  up  on  account  of  it,  which  have  never  subsided.  It  flamed 
up  again  in  the  county-seat  fight  of  1879,  between  Audubon  and  Exira,  with 
Avicked  hatred  and  fury  on  all  sides  and  between  all  factions.  Politics,  while 
partially  observed  on  the  national  and  state  tickets,  were  entirely  lost  sight 
of  in  the  selection  of  county  and  local  officers  for  years  from  and  after  1872. 
It  is  not  difficult  to  believe  that  periodical  eruptions  of  the  disease  have  since 

It  was  discovered  that  my  partner,  Mr.  Griggs,  stood  wnth  the  Hamlin 
faction.  We  had  been  happily  and  prosperously  associated  together  in  the 
law  and  real  estate  business  for  four  years ;  but  the  county-seat  fight  wrecked 
the  partnership  and  it  was  severed.  But  we  have  long  since  forgiven  each 

In  1874  the  Exira  Hall  Company  was  incorporated  at  Exira,  and  erected 
a  building  for  a  courthouse  and  county  offices. 

The  records  of  the  supervisors  on  June  30,  1874,  show  the  following 
busines.5  was  transacted : 

"On  motion,  the  following  was  adopted :  The  Exira  Hall  Company 
hereby  tender  to  the  board  of  supervisors  of  Audubon  county,  Iowa,  the  two 
south  rooms  and  the  north  room  down  stairs  of  the  company's  building  for 
the  use  of  the  county  officials  exclusively,  and  the  main  hall  upstairs  of  the 
company's  building,  at  such  times  as  it  may  be  required  to  hold  the  district 
and  circuit  courts,  provided  the  county  will  repair  all  injuries  while  in  use 
for  said  purposes. 

"W.   F.   Stotts, 
"H.    F.    Andrews." 

"Voted  by  the  board  of  supervisors  of  Audubon  county,  Iowa,  this  30th 
day  of  June,  1874,  to  accept  the  above  proposition  of  the  Exira  Hall  Com- 
pany in  fulfillment  of  the  bond  of  Charles  Van  Gorder,  et  al.  to  furnish 
offices  and  court  room  for  the  county  in  case  the  county  seat  should  remain 
at  Exira." 

Thus  the  contest  ended  and  the  county  occupied  the  building  for  court 
house  and  county  offices  at  Exira  until  1879. 


The  county  seat  fight  of  1879,  between  Audubon  and  Exira,  yet  lingers 
in  the  memories  of  those  who  participated  in  it.  The  advantage  was  with 
the  north  half  of  the  county.  Back  of  it  all  was  the  railroad  company,  with 
Bert  Freeman  and  Captain  Stuart  as  chief  fuglemen,  who  were  too  adroit  to 
resort  to  the  vulgarity  of  personal  broils,  but  had  tools  to  do  their  bidding. 
Many  new  settlers  had  come  to  the  county  since  1873.  The  Danes  had  made 
large  settlements  in  Oakfield  and  Sharon  townships,  and  the  so-called  home- 
steader movement  brought  a  large  number  of  people  into  the  north  of  the 
county,  who  were  naturally  an  increase  to  the  interests  of  the  new  town  of 
Audubon.  In  1878  the  Rock  Island  Railroad  Company  built  the  road  from 
Atlantic  and  founded  the  town  of  Audubon  in  the  midst  of  their  land. 
Settlers  poured  in  from  the  start.  During  the  summer  of  1879  the  town  of 
Audubon  was  a  busy  place.  The  railroad  company  employed  a  large  num- 
ber of  workmen  to  erect  the  new  court  house.  Stuart  &  Son  employed  many 
others  to  build  their  elevators  at  Audubon  and  Exira,  as  well  as  other  build- 
ings there  and  to  work  on  their  extensive  farms.  People  at  Audubon  and 
the  farmers  in  the  north  part  of  the  county  found .  employment  for  all  the 
extra  men  they  could  use  and  accommodate.  It  was  reported  that  men  could 
readily  obtain  free  board  and  lodging  there  for  the  sixty  days  before  the 
county-seat  election,  as  they  were  expected  to  vote  for  Audubon  for  the 
county  seat.  There  were  lots  of  new  faces  seen  in  the  north  part  of  the 
county  and  about  Audubon,  who  were  not  seen  there  after  election.  The 
writer  had  occasion  to  examine  a  denizen  of  Audubon  as  a  witness,  who 
was  a  new  comer  at  that  time,  and  in  answer  to  an  interrogatory  as  to  his 
place  of  residence  he  said  that  he  was  at  home  in  any  place  where  his  hat 
was  on.  The  same  condition  probably  applied  equally  well  to  others  stop- 
ping about  Audubon  at  that  period.  On  the  day  of  the  county-seat  election 
the  railroad  company  conducted  a  free  train  from  Atlantic  to  Audubon  and 
towns  along  the  line  to  carry  voters  to  the  election.  Our  old  friend  Jack 
Lemon,  who  is  still  conductor  on  the  Audubon  railroad,  was  the  conductor 
who  had  charge  of  that  election  train  in  1879.  It  was  current  talk  at  the 
time  that  any  man  could  vote  at  Audubon  that  day  and  no  questions  asked. 

The  newspaper  clash  during  the  campaign  was  something  remarkable. 
The  Advocate  was  at  first  conducted  by  Kimball.  Here  follows  his  saluta- 
tory in  the  Advocate,  on  January  i,    1879: 

"Good  morning.  The  Advocate  has  but  little  to  offer  in  the  way  of 
introduction.  The  circumstances  that  combined  and  created  a  demand  for 
another  paper,  the  building  of  a  new  railroad  and  town,  are  all  well  known 
to  the  public ;  therefore  it  has  no  excuses  to  ofi^er  for  its  appearance  in  the 


crowded  field  of  journalism.  Neither  does  the  editor  of  this  paper  need 
an  introduction  to  the  majority  of  the  citizens  of  Audubon  county.  We  first 
came  here  in  1869,  on  the  2d  of  April.  *  *  *  During  these  years  we 
have  formed  many  pleasant  acquaintances  and  made  many  warm  friends 
*  *  *  and  we  have  made  a  few,  and  we  think  a  very  few,  just  as  warm 
enemies  who  have  made  known  their  position  in  an  unmistakable  manner. 
Entering-  the  newspaper  field  as  we  did  five  years  ago,  inexperienced,  it  is 
only  surprising  to  us  that  we  did  not  make  more  mistakes  and  alienate  more 
friends  during  the  three  3^ears  and  five  weeks  that  we  published  a  paper  in 
this  county.  Not  that  we  do  not  expect  to  tread  on  somebody's  toes  in  the 
future,  either  intentionally  or  otherwise,  but  we  hope  our  past  experience 
may  profit  us  to  a  certain  extent  and  help  us  to  make  the  Advocate'  a  wel- 
come visitor  in  nearly  every  household  in  the  county. 

"We  are  probably  well  acquainted  with  at  least  three-fourths  of  the 
citizens  of  this  county  and  we  think  we  know  the  character  of  a  paper  that 
will  meet  their  demands,  but  whether  we  are  able  to  furnish  such  a  one  is 
for  them  and  the  future  to  determine.  They  know  our  faults  and  foibles, 
peculiarities,  eccentricities  and  idiosyncrasies,  and  with  such  knowledge  they 
do  not  act  blindly  when  they  subscribe  for,  and  pledge  a  hearty  support" to  the 
Advocate,  as  scores  of  men  belonging  to  all  shades  of  political  parties  and 
members  of  every  sect  have  voluntarily  done.  *  *  *  Our  duties  are  to 
control  the  editorial  columns.  *  *  *  Jt  is,  of  course,  necessary  to  state 
that  the  Advocate  will  be,  politically,  a  Republican  paper  and  will  support  the 
Republican  ticket  and  every  candidate  who  is  fairly  and  squarely  nominated 
by  a  regular  Republican  convention,  but  should  some  demagogue,  a  member 
of  another  party,  by  trickery  and  chicanery,  or,  even  a  pretended  member  of 
the  Republican  party,  succeed  in  capturing  a  Republican  nomination  by  run- 
ning in  Democrats,  Greenbackers  and  what-nots,  in  Republican  primaries, 
the  Advocate  will  throw  him  overboard  instanter.  We  are  not  preparing  a 
way  to  bolt  nominations,  by  any  means,  for  we  expect  to  support  the  Repub- 
lican ticket,  pure  and  unadulterated,  but  we  have  in  the  past  seen  one  or  two 
instances  of  such  contemptible  political  trickery,  where  Republican  conven- 
tions were  captured  by  outsiders  and  incompetent,  unpopular,  unprincipled 
demagogues  nominated,  that  we  thought  proper  to  state  emphatically  that  the 
Advocate  will  not  countenance  any  such  unwarranted  proceeding.  The 
Advocate  will  support  any  and  every  competent  and  responsible  Republican 
candidate,  regularly  and  fairly  nominated,  whether  it  likes  him  personally 
or  otherwise,  but  it  will  not  be  bound  to  support  an  unprincipled  political 
demagogue  who  obtains  a  nomination  by  chicanery  and  fraud,"'  etc. 


The  tenor  of  Kimball's  remarks  indicated  the  animus  of  his  intentions 
and  purposes.  He  had  been  forced  out  of  Exira  a  year  before  and  was 
employed  for  the  purpose  of  fighting  Exira;  he  was  more  than  hungry  for 
revenge.  With  blood  on  fire,  his  tongue  and  lips  dripped  with  venom  at 
every  utterance  and  he  spared  no  opportunity  to  pour  out  his  vials  of  wrath 
upon  the  editors  of  the  Exira  Defender,  Hallock  and  Campbell,  especially 
upon  the  senior  editor.  Mr.  Hallock  was  unfortunate  in  bearing  a  soiled 
reputation  for  morality  and  chastity,  which  laid  him  open  to  the  shafts  of 
Kimball's  vengeance.  Before  the  campaign  closed,  Kimball  was  ousted  from 
the  Adzfocate  by  his  partner,  who  continued  the  fight  for  Audubon,  as 
appears  from  the  following: 

"The  Advocate. 

"B.  F.  Thacker,  Editor. 


"\\t  can  now  announce  to  the  people  of  Audubon  county,  that  we  have 
purchased  all  of  ^Ir.  Kimball's  right,  title  and  interest  in  the  Adz'ocate  ofifice 
and  peace  is  at  last  restored. 

"WHiatever  action  may  have  been  taken  in  this  fight  by  the  citizens  of 
this  town  in  the  past,  we  are  willing  and  ready  to  let  everything  drop,  from 
this  date,  and  throw  our  whole  mind  and  energies  into  the  paper  and  the 
interests  of  the  county,  and  we  will  fight  to  the  death  all  factions,  rings 
and  cliques,  that  are  not  working  in  the  interest  of  the  public  good. 

"We  shall  advocate  the  removal  of  the  county  seat  from  Exira  to  Audu- 
bon next  fall,  all  reports  to  the  contrary  notwithstanding,  and  shall  tr}-  to 
do  it  in  a  fair,  square,  manly  way,  excluding,  as  far  as  possible,  all  slang  and 
personal  abuse  from  our  paper. 

"Hoping  that  we  may  retain  the  present  friendship  and  supix)rt  of  our 
patrons,  we  remain,  etc. 

"B.  F.  Thacker." 

Mr.  Thacker  conducted  the  paper  on  more  respectaljle  and  temperate 
terms.  But  Kimball  secured  a  new  organ — The  Times — supplied  by  his 
backers,  and  continued  his  lampoons  upon  Hallock  &  Campbell  to  the  end 
of  the  campaign.  The  articles  and  poems  (?)  by  Kimball  were  outrageous 
and  indecent.  To  have  sent  them  through  the  mail  would  have  been  con- 
trary to  the  law.  They  were  too  obscene  to  be  here  repeated.  The  Sentinel, 
edited  by  H.  P.  Albert  ("Pinkey''),  threw  its  influence  for  Audubon.     The 


only  paper  in  favor  of  Exira  was  the  Defender.  It  is  doubtful  whether 
any  of  the  newspapers  were  influential  in  the  fight.  They  were  all  disgraces 
to  journalism  in  that  affair.  Kimball's  character  was  such  that  he  could 
not  even  believe  his  own  word,  so  it  was  said.  Several  local  orators 
harangued  the  people  on  the  county-seat  issue,  during  the  campaign,  notably, 
Melvin  Nichols  for  the  x^udubon  faction.  It  was  difficult  to  keep  track  of 
him  or  determine  which  side  he  did  espouse ;  l^ut  he  ended  up  for  Audubon. 
John  M.  Griggs  espoused  the  cause  of  Exira. 

Here  is  some  of  the  literature  of  that  county-seat  campaign: 

"Don't!  Don't!  Don't!  Ilallock,  in  the  last  Defender,  puljlished  a  little 
of  his  l^iography,  and,  mentioning  some  gentleman  he  met  forty  years  ago, 
says:  'Our  own  history  since  that  time  would  make  a  volume;  the  history 
of  those  with  wdiom  we  then  enacted  would  make  many  volumes.' 

"Holy  mother  of  Moses !  Don't  publish  it.  Please  don't.  Give  us 
something  else;  but,  if  }'ou  have  any  respect  for  the  rising  generation,  don't 
publish  your  own  history.  Don't  you  know  there  is  a  law  against  the  publi- 
cation of  obscene  literature? 

"And  then  the  falsehoods  in  connection  with  your  'Great  transgressions.' 
Only  think  of  it.  You  ha\'e  told  lies  enough  during  this  county-seat  fight 
to  'make  a  volume'  larger  than  Webster's  Unabridged.  Don't  attempt  such 
a  thing.  It  would  ruin  society  and  break  your  press.  A  man  who  would 
attempt  to  contaminate  society  by  circulating  such  vile  literature  ought  to  be 
kicked  into  the  middle  of  the  next  century  by  a  steam  mule. 

"Only  think  of  that  (obscene)  ;  and  those  (obscene)  ;  and  (obscene)  ; 
and  your  conduct  while  at  Des  Moines;  and  that  fifty-dollar  transaction  with 

;  and  your  fight  in  the  church ;  and  your  infidelity ;  and  your  telling 

a  lie  and  laying  it  to  old  Aunty  Meek ;  and  your  writing  silly  stories  and  sign- 
ing your  name  'Aunt  Gertie' ;  and  your  selling  your  vote  to  the  railroad  com- 
pany while  you  were  in  the  Legislature ;  and  your  abuse  of  the  homesteaders 
while  you  were  selling  land  for  the  railroad  company;  and  your  abuse  of  the 
company  since  they  gave  you  the  grand  bounce ;  and  your  lies  about  Drew 
and  Van  Tuyl ;  and  your  abuse  of  Freeman  and  Brown ;  and  your  forging 
a  county  warrant ;  and  your  contemptible  falsehoods  about  the  Audubon  band 
matter;  and  your  accusing  the  people  of  the  north  of  being  poor  and  having 
no  teams ;  and  your  loaning  your  railroad  pass ;  and  your  writing  to  Drew 
and  offering  to  sell  out  your  friends  in  Exira  and  publish  a  paper  in  Audu- 
bon if  he  would  give  you  a  town  lot;  and  your  sticking  your  dirty  nose  into 
everybody's  business,  particularly  church  matters;  and  your  attempt  at  smart- 


ness,  when  if  your  head  had  been  an  eighth  of  an  inch  nearer  flat  you  would 
have  been  a  monkey ;  and  your  scratching  tickets  and  then  lying  about  it ;  and 
your  misrepresentations  of  this  town  and  its  citizens;  and  your  general 
cussedness ;  and,  worst  of  all,  your  villainous  lies  about  the  pious  editor  of 
the  Audubon  Times.     And  so  on.  ad  infinitum. 

"Don't  attempt  such  a  thing!  Reproduce  the  worst  immoral  work 
extant;  publish  a  history  of  John  Allen,  the  'Wickedest  Man  in  New  York,' 
but  don't,  please  don't,  corrupt  society  by  publishing  the  first  volume  of  your 
own  horrible  demoralizing  biography.  Spread  the  yellow  fever,  smallpox, 
or  any  other  fatal  epidemic,  for  they  will  only  kill  the  body,  but  such  a  work 
as  you  propose  to  inflict  upon  mortality  would  damn  the  very  soul." 

Here  is  another :  "On  Monday  evening  last  there  was  a  meeting  of 
the  citizens  of  Oakfield,  called  by  Elder  Crocker  for  the  purpose  of  present- 
ing some  of  the  reasons  why  the  people  of  this  county  should  not  remove 
the  county  seat  to  Audubon,  at  this  time  and  under  the  present  existing  cir- 
cumstances. The  railroad  tools  and  yelpers  of  Audubon,  hearing  of  it,  came 
down  to  wool  the  people  into  their  snares.  Elder  Crocker  generously  divided 
the  time  with  them.  They  set  Elder  M.  Nichols,  Esq.,  M.  D.,  up  as  their 
spokesman  (we  won't  say  anything  about  how  he  came  to  be  on  their  side) 
and  Elder  Crocker  chose  J.  M.  Griggs  to  close  the  debate.  Crocker  led  off 
and  ga\e  the  voters  present  a  chain  of  facts  and  circumstances  concerning 
the  workings  of  this  great  soulless  monopoly,  that  caused  their  eyes  to  open 
and  set  their  thoughts  at  work.  He  showed  them  that  a  vote  to  remove  the 
county  seat  to  Audubon  and  thereby  accept  the  cunningly-drawn  lease,  the 
deed  of  trust  to  the  public  square,  and  the  bond  of  Audubon's  forty-two 
citizens  to  build  a  house  in  that  town  in  1884,  'If  the  board  of  supervisors 
at  that  time  required  it,'  was  involving  this  county's  finances  in  a  ruinous 
struggle  with  a  self-created  ring,  consisting  of  forty-two  men  of  wealth  and 
influence,  backed  by  the  railroad  company  as  an  interested  party.  Elder 
Crocker  made  many  other  telling  points  and  unanswerable  arguments  why 
removal  should  not  take  place  at  this  time. 

"Nichols  then  followed  with  the  piece  he  had  prepared  against  Audubon 
and  which  he  was  to  have  delivered  at  that  place  last  Saturday,  substituting 
the  name  Exira  for  Audubon.  His  talk  fell  upon  the  ears  of  his  hearers 
with  the  deadness  of  conscience-stricken,  benumbed,  though  eliciting  nothing 
but  terse  cuts  from  the  friends  of  a  fair  vote  of  the  actual  citizens  of  the 
county  on  all  questions  of  financial  interest  to  the  people. 

"J.  M.  Griggs  followed  with  one  of  his  soul-stirring  "appeals  for  justice 
to  all.  showing  that  Exira  was  less  than  two  miles  further  from  the  center 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  1 55 

of  the  county,  by  section  lines,  than  Audubon,  and  refuting  many  sophistries 
offered  by  those  who  are  hired  to  assist  the  railroad  company  in  robbing  the 
poor  man  of  his  lands  and  home.  The  railroad  hirelings  were  so  dissatisfied 
with  the  results  of  the  meeting  that  they  determined  to  have  another  at  Audu- 
bon, where  they  can  call  in  their  subsidized  voters  and  supporters  to  enthuse 
for  them,  and  where  they  suppose  Messrs.  Crocker  and  Griggs  dare  not  put 
in  an  appearance.  But  they  will  find  that  these  gentlemen  are  not  afraid 
'to  beard  the  lion  in  his  den,'  or  the  liar  in  his  kennel." 

And  here  is  still  another :  "Eds.  Defender — Fearing  you  might  not 
hear  of  it  in  any  other  way  (?),  I  write  to  say  that  Elder  Crocker  had  an 
appointment  to  speak  at  Oakfield,  on  the  county-seat  question,  and  some  of 
the  friends  of  Audubon  announced  that  D.  W.  Powers  would  answer  him. 
Last  night  (Monday)  when  Mr.  Crocker  came,  others  came  also.  Audubon 
was  represented  by  several  of  her  citizens,  viz :  E.  H.  Kimball,  E.  J.  Free- 
man, B.  F.  Thacker,  M.  Nichols  and  others  unknown  to  your  correspondent. 
There  were  present  also,  J.  M.  Griggs,  Charles  Van  Gorder,  John  Crane, 
and  a  house  full  besides.  In  due  time  the  house  was  called  to  order  and 
Washington  Bartlett  was  elected  chairman  for  the  evening.  Elder  Crocker 
came  forward  and  expressed  himself  as  ready  for  the  discussion  with  Mr. 
Powers ;  but,  although  he  was  present,  the  railroad  company  were  not  inclined 
to  trust  their  case  with  an  untried  man,  and  he  probably,  not  desiring  to 
speak,  an  arrangement  was  entered  into  by  which  a  debate  was  had  between 
Mr.  Nichols,  on  the  one  hand,  and  Messrs.  Crocker  and  Griggs  on  the  other. 
Mr.  Nichols  opened  with  a  very  fair  speech,  considering  he  had  so  lately  got 
on  that  side  of  the  fence,  having,  but  a  short  time  since,  been  employing  his 
tongue  and  pen  in  favor  of  Exira,  on  which  side  I  believe  he  did  better  work 
than  he  is  now  doing  for  Audubon.  Query:  What  force  was  it  that  lifted 
him  over  the  fence  so  suddenly? 

"Mr.  Crocker  followed,  completely  refuting,  as  we  think,  the  argument 
advanced  by  Mr.  Nichols,  who,  at  the  conclusion  of  Mr.  Crocker's  remarks, 
again  took  the  floor.  His  speech  was  of  course,  much  like  the  first,  but, 
seeing  the  'cattle',  as  he  called  the  opposing  speakers,  were  somewhat  stub- 
born and  hard  to  handle,  he  'shed  his  woolen'  and  went  at  them  in  his  shirt 

"Mr.  Griggs  followed  him  with  a  complete  refutation  of  his  arguments. 
A  number  of  happy  hits  were  made  on  either  side,  and  the  speakers  were 
all  repeatedly  and  vociferously  cheered.  One  or  two  things  occurred  that, 
to  one  not  versed  in  matters  of  this  kind,  looked  a  little  singular.  Why  was 
it  that  Kimball  took  a  front  seat,  and  occasionally,  when  he  imagined  he  saw 

156  .        AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA. 

something  funny  or  of  particular  interest  to  their  side,  clapped  his  hands 
wildly,  at  the  same  time  raising  them  high  above  his  head  and  casting  'sheep's 
eyes'  at  his  Audubon  chums?  Was  it  because  he  was  the  'bell  wether,'  and 
when  he  jumped  they  were  expected  to  follow?  They  followed  any  way." 
It  appears  that  Kimball  stirred  up  Elder  Crocker  in  his  paper;  but  we 
are  unable  to  discover  what  he  said  about  the  elder,  which  moved  the 
reverend  gentleman  to  wrath.     But  here  is  what  Crocker  said  about  Kimball : 

"skinning  a  skunk! 

"The  Audubon  Daily  Times ,  which  was  probaljly  already  in  process  of 
incubation,  bursts  its  shell  and  comes  to  life  immediately  after  the  warmth 
of  the  Oakfield  discussion.  The  first  issue  of  the  daily  wreaks  its  vengeance 
upon  one  J.  M.  Crocker,  and  merits  only  silent  and  supreme  contempt,  but, 
for  the  sake  of  the  respectability  whom  he  disgraces,  by  being  their  repre- 
sentative, we  consent  to  answer.  He  proceeds  to  answer  our  arguments  by 
his  well-known  method  of  warfare,  by  vomiting  upon  their  author.  He  has 
not  time  to  expose  our  fallacies  but  will  after  election;  until  then  we  must 
be  silent  by  the  ipsi  dixit  of  a  man  who  was  never  known  before  to  tell  the 
truth,  when  a  lie  would  serve  as  well.  For  proof  of  my  statements  in  the 
Defender,  I  refer  to  any  correct  county  map.  He  states  that  in  that  article 
signed  'Goose  Quill'  T  assailed  him  in  an  uncalled-for  and  ungentlemanly 
manner.  Far  from  it.  Everyone  knows  our  attack  was  upon  the  only 
worthy  and  able  editor  in  .\udul)()n,  the  editor  of  the  Advocate.  We  knew 
before  that  he  could  tell  a  lie;  we  know  now  that  he  can't  tell  anything  else. 
He  savs  the  loan  agents  have  trouble  to  get  their  papers  promptly.  Anyone 
who  knows  anything  about  the  office  work  of  the  recorder  knows  that  the 
supply  of  work  is  irregular,  sometimes  nothing  to  do  for  days  at  a  time, 
then  a  rush  and  an  overwhelming  amount  of  it  for  a  few  days.  It  not 
unfrequently  happens  that  amid  this  rush  of  work  a  half  dozen  long  loan 
mortgages  are  handed  in  by  nearly  as  many  different  firms,  each  wanting  his 
work  fi.rst.  Now  to  do  all  this  with  entire  satisfaction  to  all  is  perhaps  an 
impossibility.  But  I  apprehend  that  the  firm  to  whom  we  have  given  the 
greatest  dissatisfaction  is  the  one  we  have  most  frecpiently  and  fruitlessly 
dunned  for  their  long-standing  arrears.  But  my  chief  sin  is  in  making 
county  speeches.  Ah,  tliat's  the  rul).  I  was  not  aware  that  it  was  any  worse 
for  the  recorder  to  attend  a  meeting  at  Oakfield  (leaving  Exira  at  dark), 
than  it  was  for  editors,  bankers,  real  estate  agents,  et  al.,  from  Audubon; 
and  if  their  unconcealed  ill-humor  was  an  index  to  their  moral  consciousness, 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  1 57 

they  were  guilty  of  a  greater  sin  than  those  of  Exira,  who  seemed  to  be  well 
satisfied  and  in  good  humor.  'He  has  always  been  our  friend.'  That  is  the 
most  disgraceful  thing  he  says  or  could  say.  I  flatter  myself  that  this  is 
also  false.  But  at  least  whatever  contumely  we  have  been  entitled  to  in  the 
past  by  his  friendship,  we  are  at  last  relieved. 

"He  says  we  sold  out  to  J.  B.  White.  This  is  an  infamous  falsehood, 
that  would  stain  the  character  of  a  demon.  J.  B.  White  lost  his  cause  in 
Audubon  county,  as  everyone  knows,  l^y  his  affiliations  with  the  edtior  of 
the  Times.  But  bad  and  imbecile  as  I  am,  I  only  lack  one  thing  of  being 
a  saint,  a  scholar  and  a  gentleman,  and  that  one  thing  needful  is  to  sell  out 
to  Audubon,  body  and  suffrage;  it  is  a  transformation  process.  The  idiotic 
editor  of  the  Sentinel  became  a  sane  and  sensible  man;  the  violent  Anti  M. 
Xop,  against  the  most  scathing  vindictives  were  already  in  type,  surrenders 
his  manhood  in  time  to  save  his  character,  the  type  is  distributed  and  the 
editorials  do  not  appear  and  he  becomes  at  once  the  spokesman  for  the 
removal  cause,  and  their  orator  on  high  occasions.  Indeed  it  is  a  transform- 
ing process.  It  would  cover  all  our  remissness  and  convert  the  viper  to 
the  dove.  But.  alas,  we  are  not  susceptible  of  the  change ;  our  evil  is  incur- 
able because  we  cannot  be  bought,  intimidated,  nor  l)ulldozed  into  favor  with 
their  lofty  measures  that  involve  our  county  in  the  liability  for  thousands  of 
dollars;  Ijecause  we  will  not  pander  to  their  whims  nor  be  awed  into  silence 
concerning  their  selfish  schemes ;  because  we  dare  to  look  with  suspicion  upon 
their  proposed  offers  and  expose  the  emptiness  of  their  gulled  gifts.  But  to 
sum  it  all  up,  he  has  told  who  and  what  we  are.  We  will  not  attempt  a  like 
favor  in  his  behalf  for  two  reasons:  First,  the  people  of  this  county 
know  him  of  old;  second,  no  language  is  equal  to  the  emergency;  decomposi- 
tion has  proceeded  so  far  in  his  case  as  to  render  dissection  impossible ;  we 
can  onlv  trim  him  off  a  little  around  the  eyes.  W^ho  is  he  ?  The  man  ( for- 
give the  false  appellation)  whose  only  aversion  to  farming  is  that  his  wife 
can't  do  the  work;  who  was  once  recorder  of  Audubon  county,  to  the  sorrow 
of  all  who  shall  search  the  records,  to  the  end  of  time;  who  left  a  fair  picture 
of  himself  upon  the  records,  in  which  the  back  ground  of  illegibility  is  only 
relieved  by  the  abundance  of  palpable  and  glaring  blunders,  and  but  for  his 
industrious  wife,  who  did  most  and  best  of  his  work  that  outlived  his  official 
career,  would  only  have  been  equalled  by  his  moral  lustre ;  who  sold  out  J.  B. 
White  by  staining  the  garments  of  a  pure  man  by  his  own  putrid  impurity; 
who  is  a  vulture  of  old  upon  the  county  treasury;  who  is  now  seeking  to  leap 
into  the  realization  of  his  long-cherished  desires  for  rapine  and  plunder  upon 
the  county;  who  has  sold  himself  at  every  opportunity  and  never  failed  to 


cheat  the  purchaser  out  of  the  full  price  paid ;  who  is  now  spreading  his 
feathers  over  his  newly  hatched  daily,  and  would  like  to  write  an  article  for 
it  if  he  had  sufficient  sense;  in  whom  the  vacuum  of  intelligence  and  refine- 
ment is  filled  with  vileness  and  vulgarity;  whose  hatred  of  all  that  is  lovely, 
excellent  and  pure,  is  only  equalled  by  his  ardent  love  of  all  that  is  villain- 
ous, vicious  and  mean;  in  whose  estimation  the  sum  of  infancy  is  the  free- 
dom of  unfettered  manhood;  whose  papers,  daily  and  weekly,  are  a  mass  of 
maggotty  rottenness,  that  the  vultures  would  disdain;  a  stain  on  the  history 
of  barbarism,  an  insult  to  civilization,  and  a  stench  amid  the  breezes  from 
the  bottomless  pit;  as  an  encomium  and  abuse  as  our  highest  praise. 

"J.  M.  Crocker.^' 

The  local  newspapers  of  that  period  were  filled  with  this  style  of 
effusions  by  the  respective  editors,  sometimes  better  and  often  worse.  These 
samples  will  suffice  to  indicate  the  abuses  by  which  people  were  afflicted 
during  that  unhappy  period. 

During  the  campaign  one  of  the  Audubon  papers  gave  out  the  following 
statement:  "Captain  Stuart  authorizes  us  to  state  that  if  the  people  of 
Audubon  county  want  the  county  seat  at  Audubon  he  will  furnish  a  good, 
subsantial  building  for  court  house  purposes,  much  better  than  the  county 
ever  had,  free  of  any  expense  to  the  county  or  taxpayers,  and  that  he  will 
enter  into  writings  to  that  effect.  He  further  says  that  the  building  shall 
be  provided  with  fire-proof  vaults  for  the  county  records." 

But  we  have  seen  that  the  railroad  company  built  the  present  court  house 
for  use  of  the  county  before  the  county-seat  election  came  off.  At  the  elec- 
tion the  contest  was  decided  by  a  vote  of  eight  hundred  and  forty-one  votes 
against  six  hundred  and  twenty,  in  favor  of  removal  to  Audubon.  And  the 
county  records  were  immediately  transferred  to  Audubon. 

In  1905  an  election  was  ordered  to  test  the  proposition  of  issuing  bonds 
in  the  amount  of  sixty-five  thousand  dollars  for  the  erection  of  a  new  court 
house  at  Audubon.  It  brought  out  violent  opposition  from  people  of  various 
parts  of  the  county.  A  number  of  business  men  of  Exira  executed  a  bond 
in  the  sum  of  forty  thousand  dollars,  binding  themselves  to  build  a  new 
court  house  at  Exira,  if  the  people  of  the  county  would  re-locate  the  county 
seat  there.  The  movement  indicated  that  the  memory  of  the  old  fights 
lingered  in  the  breasts  of  the  sons  of  the  old  contestants  who  were  defeated 
in  1879.  The  bond  operated  as  a  bluff  and  the  bond  issue  was  defeated  by 
nearly  four  hundred  votes.  The  present  year,  Exira  has  built  a  costlv  new 
school  house  at  their  own  expense.  It  is  not  clear  what  position  the  people 
of  Exira  may  take  when  the  time  arrives  for  building  a  new  court  house. 




The  first  traveled  highway  was  the  old  Mormon  trail,  coming  from  the 
way  of  Des  Moines,  Adel,  Redfield,  etc.  It  entered  the  county  near  the 
"Divide,"  not  far  south  of  the  northeast  corner  of  Audubon  township; 
thence  down  the  divide  between  the  water  sheds  of  Troublesome  and 
Crooked  creeks,  through  Indian  Grove  (section  14,  Audubon  township), 
to  Hamlin's  Grove;  thence  down  Troublesome  to  Grove  City  and  Lewis 
and  on  to  Council  Bluffs.  It  was  not  a  legally  laid-out  highway  and  ran 
across  the  country  without  following  section  lines. 

It  will  not  be  amiss  to  notice  some  of  the  first  legally  established  roads, 
which  were  generally  laid  out  across  the  county  without  conforming  to 
section  lines,  but  conforming  to  the  divides  and  highlands. 

Old  State  road  No.  i  was  laid  out  by  Dr.  Samuel  M.  Ballard  and 
Thomas  Seely,  as  commissioners,  in  1855.  It  commenced  at  the  west  line 
of  Dallas  county,  at  the  terminus  of  a  road  laid  there  in  1849;  thence  by 
way  of  Bear  Grove,  entering  Audubon  county  at  the  half-mile  post  on  the 
north  line  of  section  2,  Audubon  township ;  thence  southwesterly  down 
Troublesome  to  the  township  line  at  the  corner  of  sections  7  and  18,  same 
township;  thence  to  Dayton  (section  22,  Exira  township);  thence  through 
sections  28,  29  and  30,  same  township,  to  Ballard's  bridge  in  section  36,  in 
Oakfield  township;  thence  by  way  of  the  Eorks  of  the  West  Nishua  river, 
in  township  yy,  range  39,  in  Shelby  county;  thence  to  Council  Bluffs.  The 
portion  of  the  road  east  from  the  old  town  of  Dayton  is  practically  obsolete. 

County  road  No.  2  was  located  in  December,  1855.  The  petitioners 
were :  Daniel  Crane,  David  L.  Anderson,  Hiram  Perkins,  David  Edgerton, 
William  Pangburn,  John  Sifford,  Reuben  Kenyon,  Nathaniel  Wiggin,  John 
Crane,  and  Bryant  Milliman.  Nathaniel  Hamlin  was  commissioner  and 
Peoria  I.  Whitted,  surveyor.  Beginning  on  the  east  line  of  section  i,  Audu- 
bon township ;  thence  to  the  upper  grove  on  Troublesome,  in  section  4,  in 
Audubon  township;  thence  to  David's  creek  (Exira);  thence  to  the  Shelby 
county  line,  twenty  rods  north  of  the  northwest  corner  of  Sharon  township. 


County  road  Xo.  i  was  laid  out  in  1855-6.  The  petitioners  were: 
Nathaniel  Hamlin.  John  Crane,  Thomas  S.  Lewis,  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis,  O. 
Everett  r^Iarsh,  Oliver  Smith,  Alonzo  N.  Arnold,  Jonathan  Decker,  William 
Carpenter,  Peoria  L  Whitted.  Richard  M.  Lewis,  Daniel  Crane.  Robert  A. 
Oliphant.  Urbane  Herrick  and  David  L.  Anderson.  David  Edgerton  was 
commissioner  and  Peoria  L  \\'hitted.  surveyor.  Beginning  on  the  south 
line  of  section  31,  Exira  township;  thence  east  across  Troublesome,  by 
Hamlin's  Grove,  and  ending  at  the  Guthrie  county  line  at  the  corners  of 
sections  12  and  13,  Audubon  township,  the  site  of  the  present  Lutheran 

County  road  Xo.  7  was  located  in  1857.  Alvin  Herrick  was  commis- 
sioner and  Peoria  L  Whitted,  surveyor.  Beginning  at  State  road  Xo.  2,  in 
section  28,  Exira  township;  thence  north  through  Big  Grove,  Exira.  High- 
land Grove,  and  termination  on  the  Guthrie  county  line,  eighty-five  rods 
south  of  the  corner  of  sections  24  and  25.  Viola  township. 

County  road  Xo.  9,  was  located  in  1859,  being  petitioned  for  by  John 
E.  McConnell,  J.  E.  Ham.  William  S.  Bush,  Lyman  Bush,  William  P.  Ham- 
lin. Avery  Belcher.  James  Eagan.  Charles  Wiggin,  William  X^elson.  Leonard 
Earley.  Stillman  H.  Perry  and  Xathaniel  Wiggin.  Beginning  at  the  east 
end  of  Depot  street,  Exira;  thence  east  and  ending  at  Judge  Harris'  break- 
ing, near  to  countv  road  Xo.  i,  on  the  Guthrie  countv  line. 

These  were  the  most  important  roads  in  the  county  up  to  i860.  The 
routes  of  travel  were  mostly  confined  to  the  high  lands,  across  countr)^ 
without  following  section  lines  in  the  first  instance.  Miles  of  road  wound 
along  the  ridges,  to  avoid  the  streams  and  low.  wet  lands,  and  to  avoid  the 
building  of  bridges  as  much  as  possible.  They  were  the  natural  ways  for 
travel  and  soon  became  ideal  highways.  As  the  country  settled  up,  they 
have  been  -changed,  mostly  to  conform  to  the  section  lines. 


Bridges  were  then  an  expensive  claim  upon  the  limited  resources  of 
our  thinly-settled  county,  but  the  people  were  equal  to  the  demand.  They 
could  not  build  the  costly  structures  we  are  erecting  today ;  indeed,  a 
single  bridge  such  as  we  now  build  costs  more  than  all  the  bridges  built  in 
the  county  for  the  first  ten  years.  The  first  bridges  were  constructed  by 
placing  long,  strong  logs  across  the  stream  from  bank  to  bank,  the  ends 
firmly  buried  in  the  ground,  and  were  covered  with  poles  and  dirt.     The 



^l^flktmmt       «  ■  •  ■  « 




upper  side  was  lowest,  in  order  that  the  high  water  would  pass  over  it 
entirely,  and  the  weight  of  the  water  pressed  the  bridge  covering  firmly  to 
the  stringers,  and  thus  prevented  it  from  being  swept  away  by  the  current. 
Such  bridges  had  to  answer  their  purposes,  and  they  were  convenient  and 
safe,  except  in  high  water.  Several  accidents  have  occurred  from  these 
defective  primitive  bridges.  About  1873,  Hiram  Jellison  lost  a  valuable 
horse  in  attempting  to  cross  the  bridge  west  of  Old  Hamlin  during  high 
water,  and  the  same  year  a  traveler  in  attempting  to  cross  Four  Mile  creek, 
east  of  Exira,  had  a  span  of  horses  drowned,  where  the  bridge  had  been 
swept  away  by  high  water. 

The  next  important  change  in  bridges  was  by  bedding  heavy  mud-sells 
in  the  stream,  or  near  the  edges,  and  erecting  upon  them  heavy  frame  works 
high  above  the  water,  and  covering  them  with  plank  for  a  roadway.  They 
were  not  a  success  and  were  constantly  swept  away  by  high  water,  resulting 
in  heavy  losses. 

In  1872  Mark  Frary,  of  Atlantic,  introduced  the  system  of  pile  bridges, 
which  was  adopted  by  the  county  and  used  extensively  to  the  present  time. 
In  recent  years  corrugated  metalic  tubes  are  being  successfully  used  for  cul- 
verts, instead  of  the  small  wooden  bridges.  The  county  has  already 
replaced  many  wooden  structures  with  concrete  and  iron  bridges  and  cul- 
verts, and  these  improvements  bid  fair  to  be  continued  and  increased. 


For  many  years  roadbeds  have  been  graded,  the  hilltops  cut  down  and 
hollows  filled.  Since  the  advent  of  automobiles,  roads  have  been  vastly 
improved  and  made  better  and  smoother  by  a  uniform  system  of  road  drag- 
ging. Under  recent  laws,  the  prospects  are  that  in  the  near  future  defective 
highways  in  Audubon  county  will  be  a  thing  of  the  past.  The  River  to 
River  road,  through  the  county  east  and  west,  passes  through  Exira.  It 
would  require  a  volume  to  enumerate  the  roads  and  bridges  in  the  county, 
a  very  complete  record  of  which  is  found  in  the  county  auditor's  office, 
showing  four  hundred  and  seventy-five  roads,  ramifying  all  parts  of  the 
county,  aggregating  eight  hundred  and  thirteen  miles  of  roads. 

There  are  now  in  the  county  five  hundred  wooden  bridges,  each  over 
thirty-two  feet  in  length;  five  hundred  wooden  bridges  and  culverts  less 
than  thirty-two  feet  in  length ;  ten  concrete  and  steel  bridges,  and  three  thou- 
sanci  corrugated  metallic  tube  culverts. 


1 62  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA. 


There  was  not  a  railroad  in  Iowa  when  Audubon  county  was  first  set- 
tled. In  1865  the  Rock  Island  railroad  reached  the  town  of  Kellogg,  and 
the  Northwestern  railroad  reached  the  town  of  Boone  the  same  year.  In 
1866  the  Northwestern  reached  Council  Bluffs,  and  one  railroad  got  through 
to  Des  Moines  the  same  year.  At  that  period  the  people  of  Audubon  county 
first  began  to  realize  that  they  were  in  touch  \\ith  railroad  facilities. 

The  first  pine  lumber  for  building  purposes  was  brought  to  Audubon 
county  in  1866  for  erection  of  the  school  house  near  Bradley  Beers  (Old 
Hamlin).  In  December,  1868,  the  Rock  Island  railroad  was  continued 
from  Des  Moines  to  Council  Bluffs.  In  December,  1878,  the  branch  rail- 
road came  from  Atlantic  to  Brayton,  Exira  and  Audubon.  In  1882  the 
Northwestern  railroad  came  from  Carroll,  by  way  of  Manning,  to  Gray 
and  Audubon.  The  Atlantic  Northern  railroad  was  built  from  Atlantic  to 
Elk  Horn  and  Kimballton  in  1907. 


John  M.  Donnel,  called  "Milt,"  came  to  Audubon  county  with 
Nathaniel  Hamlin  in  September,  1851,  and  at  first  lived  about  Hamlin's 
Grove.  Soon  afterward,  at  least  as  early  as  1853,  he  carried  the  mail  from 
Adel  to  Hamlin's  Grove,  using  some  kind  of  wheeled  conveyance.  We  are 
unable  to  learn  how  long  it  continued.  At  an  early  day  the  Western  Stage 
Company  established  a  line  of  coaches  through  Iowa  by  way  of  Des  Moines 
to  Council  Bluffs.  As  early  as  1857  the  route  was  from  Des  Moines,  by 
way  of  Adel,  Redfield,  Dalmanutha,  Morrisons  (Anita),  Grove  City  and 
Lewis,  to  Council  Bluffs.  The  exact  date  when  the  route  was  first  changed 
from  Morrison's  to  Hamlin's  is  uncertain.  In  June,  1865,  it  was  running 
by  way  of  Morrison's.  Charles  How,  who  now  lives  at  Exira,  drove  the 
first  coach  from  Bear  Grove  to  Hamlin's  Grove,  July  18,  1865,  when  that 
change  was  made.  It  is  not  certain  if  the  route  had  previously  run  to  Ham- 

In  October,  1865,  the  writer  was  a  passenger  in  the  Western  Stage 
Company's  coaches  from  Kellogg  to  Hamlin's  Grove.  The  route  then  ran 
from  Des  Moines,  by  way  of  Adel,  Panora,  Guthrie  Center.  Bear  Grove,  to 
Hamlin's  Grove;  thence  to  Grove  City,  etc.  Those  coaches  were  the  old- 
fashioned    Concord,    closed    stages,    with    leather    thorough    braces     (for 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  1 63 

springs),  and  were  drawn  by  four  powerful  horses.  The  drivers  were 
veterans  in  their  business  and  expert  whips.  With  their  long,  graceful 
lashes,  they  could  fleck  a  fly  from  the  ears  of  their  lead  horses  without 
touching  the  horse,  and  could  perform  all  other  expert  stunts  peculiar  to 
their  calling.  The  coaches  went  out  of  use  when  the  railroad  reached 
Atlantic  in  1868-9.  While  the  stages  went  by  way  of  Morrison's,  mail  was 
carried  from  that  point  to  Hamlin's  on  horseback. 

Before  the  town  of  Exira  was  founded,  and  as  early  as  1856,  a  man 
named  Adams  carried  the  mail,  some  times  horseback  and  at  other  times 
with  a  buckboard,  from  Adel,  by  way  of  Exira,  to  Magnolia,  giving  service 
once  a  week  each  way.  About  i860,  E.  B.  Newton,  of  Guthrie  Center,  car- 
ried the  mail  by  hackline,  from  Adel  to  Magnolia;  but  he  changed  the  route 
by  going  from  Bear  Grove  to  Bradley  Beers'  (Old  Hamlin)  ;  thence  to 
Bowman's  Grove,  leaving  Exira  six  miles  to  the  south,  and  the  mail  was 
supplied  to  Exira  from  Beers.'  In  1864,  Newton  was  succeeded  by  John 
Crane,  who  carried  the  mail  from  Bear  Grove,  by  way  of  Exira,  to  Mag- 
nolia, twice  a  week.  This  line  was  discontinued  when  the  railroad  reached 
Atlantic  in  1868-9.  I^^  186S  a  hackline  was  established  by  David  L.  An- 
derson from  Exira  to  Atlantic,  with  service  twice  a  week.  In  1875,  he 
was  succeeded  by  W^illiam  P.  Hamlin,  who  conducted  a  hack  line  over  the 
same  route  until  the  railroad  reached  Exira  in  1878. 

About  1868  .another  mail  line  was  established  by  William  Thompson 
from  Anita,  by  way  of  Hamlin's,  to  Exira,  which  was  discontinued  in  1878. 
A  line  was  established  in  1871,  by  John  McFadden  from  Exira,  by  way  of 
Leroyville,  Irwin,  Thompson  and  Elba,  to  Carroll.  He  was  succeeded  by 
William  Thompson,  he  by  John  Robinson,  and  he  by  Sylvester  K.  Landis. 
This  line  was  discontinued  about  1880-2.  Another  line  was  established  by 
William  Gransberry,  from  Exira,  by  way  of  Leroyville,  Irwin  and  Viola 
Center,  to  Coon  Rapids,  during  the  period  last  above  named. 



The  population  of  Audubon  county  averaged  less  than  five  hundred 
during  the  War  of  the  Rebellion.  It  had  five  hundred  and  ten  inhabitants 
by  the  census  of  1865.  There  were  about  one  hundred  men  subject  to  mili- 
tary duty  in  the  county  during  the  war,  thirty-one  of  whom  served  in  the 
army  during  that  period.  About  fifteen  unmarried  men  did  not  go  to  the 
war,  several  of  whom  were  not  able-bodied  and  were  unfit  for  military  duty. 


David  L.  Anderson,  private,  Company  D,  Seventh  Iowa  Cavalry,  enlisted 
March  6,  1863;  discharged  January  10,  1866. 

John  A.  Anderson,  private,  Company  D,  Seventh  Iowa  Cavalry,  enlisted 
February  13,  1863;  discharged  May  17,  1866. 

William  S.  Anderson,  private,  Company  B,  Fifth  Iowa  Infantry,  enlisted 
December  18,  1862;  killed  July  22,  1864. 

William  P.  Beck,  First  Sergeant,  Company  C,  Fourth  Iowa  Infantry, 
enlisted  May  26,  1861 ;  discharged  December  10,  1862. 

Silas  D.  Burns,  private.  Second  Iowa  Battery,  enlisted  August  26,  1861 ; 
killed  June  19,  1863. 

John  W.  Davis,  sergeant.  Company  L,  Fourth  Iowa  Cavalry,  enlisted 
November  25,  1861  ;  deserted  December  22,  1863. 

Henry  T.  Eagan. 

James  Eagan. 

Richard  S.  Hallock,  surgeon,  United  States  Colored  Infantry. 

George  W.  Hardy,  private,  Company  I,  Twenty-third  Iowa  Infantry, 
enlisted  August  15,  1862;  died  October  19,  1862. 

James  Howlett,  private,  Company  D,   Second  Iowa  Infantry,  drafted, 


Samuel  Howlett,  private,  Company  D,  Second  Iowa  Infantry,  drafted, 


Lvman  Jardine.  private.  Company  I,  Twenty-third  Iowa  Infantry, 
enlisted  August  14,  1862;  died  June  27,  1865. 

AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA.  1 65 

John  T.  Jenkins,  corporal,   Second  Iowa  Battery,  enlisted  August   i8, 
1861 ;  discharged  August  30,  1864. 

James  M.  Jones,  private.  Second  Iowa  Battery,  enlisted  March  30,  1864; 
discharged  August  7,  1865. 

Orlin  E.  Jones,  private.  Second  Iowa  Battery,  enlisted  August  18,  1861 ; 
killed  June  20,  1863. 

John   W.    Montgomery,   corporal.   Company   E,   Third   Iowa   Infantry, 
enlisted  May  21,   1861 ;  wounded  April  6,  1862;  discharged  June  17,  1864. 

William  M.  Nelson,  private.  Company  D,  Twenty-ninth  Iowa  Infantry, 
enlisted  August  13,  1862;  discharged  August  10,  1865. 

Charles  H.  Norton,  corporal,  Second  Iowa  Battery,  enlisted  August  18, 
1861  ;  discharged  August  30,  1864. 

Robert    A.    Oliphant,    corporal.    Company    B,    Eourth    Iowa    Infantry, 
enlisted  July  10,   1861 ;  discharged  August  30,  1864. 

James  A.  Robinson,  private.  Company  D,  Twenty-ninth  Iowa  Infantry, 
enlisted  August  15,  1862;  discharged  August  10,  1865. 

W.    Scott   Rice,   sergeant.    Second   Iowa   Battery,    enlisted   August   26, 
1861;  discharged  August  7,  1865. 

Harry  D.  Shelley,  sergeant,  Second  Iowa  Battery,  enlisted  August  26, 
1861 ;  discharged  April  3,  1863. 

James    Smith,     private.     Company     I,     Twenty-third     Iowa     Infantry, 
enlisted  August  8,  1862;  discharged  July  26,  1868. 

John  F.  Smith. 

William  E.  Smith,  bugler,  Company  L,  Fourth  Iowa  Cavalry,  enlisted 
October  7,  1861 ;  discharged  August  8,  1865. 

William   E.   E.    Smith,    private,    Company   D,    Seventh   Iowa   Cavalry, 
enlisted  February  13,  1863;  discharged  May  17,  1866. 

George  R.   Stephenson,  private.   Second  Iowa  Battery,   enlisted  March 
30,  1864;  discharged  August  7,  1865. 

Charles  Van  Gorder,  captain,  Company  B,  Thirty-ninth  Iowa  Infantry, 
enlisted  August  22,  1862;  wounded  October  5,  1864;  discharged  June  5,  1865. 

Nathaniel  Wiggin,  drafted. 

John  M.  Wilcox,  private,  Company  D,  Seventh  Iowa  Cavalry,  enlisted 
April  10,  1864;  discharged  May  17,  1866. 

Of  these  soldiers,  three  were  killed,  two  wounded,  two  died  of  disease 
and  one  deserted. 

John  Crane,  Richard  Gault  and  James  A.  Poage  were  drafted  and  fur- 
nished substitutes. 

1 66  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA. 

An  incident  of  the  early  recruiting  in  the  county  for  the  war  is  the 
circumstance  of  the  enHstment  of  John  T.  Jenkins,  who  still  lives  at  Brayton, 
Iowa,  being  the  last  survivor  of  the  little  company  of  settlers  who  first  came 
to  Audubon  county  on  May  6,  1851. 

Several  young  men  about  Oakfield,  in  August,  1861,  had  agreed  to  enlist 
in  Captain  Spoor's  Second  Iowa  Battery.  "Uncle"  Johnny  Jenkins,  who  was 
a  Kentuckian,  a  Democrat  and  opposed  to  the  war,  having  heard  that  his  son 
had  so  enlisted,  spoke  to  him  on  the  subject.  "John,"  said  he,  "did  you 
sign  that  paper  to  go  to  the  war,"  or  words  to  that  effect.  "Yes,  sir,  I  did," 
said  John.  "Well,  John,  I  don't  want  you  to  ever  show  yourself  here  with 
a  hole  in  your  back."     Which  ended  the  interview. 

By  the  year  1864  the  war  was  realized  forcibly  by  the  people  of  Audubon 
county.  Many  of  its  young  men  were  in  the  army,  and  some  had  been  killed 
or  had  died  there ;  many  at  home  felt  that  duty  required  their  presence  there 
to  support  their  families,  and  some  were  violently  opposed  to  the  war.  Party 
spirit  was  at  extreme  tension  and  people  were  hopelessly  divided  in  political 
opinions.  Volunteering  had  almost  ceased ;  a  draft  for  soldiers  was  ordered 
and  actual  strife  at  home  was  imminent.  Some  men  said  that  if  they  had  to 
fight,  they  would  fight  at  home — or,  in  other  words,  resist  the  draft.  It  was 
a  time  that  "tried  men's  souls."  Some  of  the  patriotic  citizens  organized  the 
Loyal  Legion,  to  try  to  influence  public  opinion  and  to  enforce  the  law.  The 
spot  where  they  met,  in  an  obscure  ravine  on  section  21.  Exira  township, 
was  many  years  ago  shown  to  the  writer  by  Howard  J.  Green,  Esq.,  who  then 
pointed  out  a  tree  under  which  he  stood  sentinel  while  good  old  Deacon  Bush 
prayed  for  the  Union  cause.  At  the  same  time  others  were  plotting  and  lay- 
ing plans  to  defeat  the  Union  cause.  The  Democrats  then  in  the  county  were 
in  the  majority,  while  Republicans  were  in  the  Union  army.  We  recall  a  story 
about  a  "secesh"  in  Exira,  who  became  elated  because  he  believed  that  Price's 


raid  might  reach  Iowa,  and  he  said  that  he  would  go  to  Missouri  and  meet 
Price's  army  and  guide  it  here.  Darius  Barlow,  who  then  lived  in  Exira,  told 
him  to  go,  and  that  he  would  see  to  it  that  he  should  never  reach  Price  or  his 

The  draft  was  peaceably  enforced.  John  Crane,  Richard  Gault,  James 
A.  Poage,  Urbane  Herrick,  George  W.  Sharp,  Nathaniel  Wiggin,  James  and 
Samuel  Howlett  were  drafted ;  Herrick  and  Sharp  were  exempted ;  Crane, 
Gault  and  Poage  furnished  substitutes,  and  the  others  served  their  terms  in 
the  army. 

The  draft  was  conducted  by  John  A.  Hallock,  then  clerk  of  the  district 
court,  who  was  accused  of  making  a  false  return  of  men  who  were  drafted. 

AUDUBON    COUNTYj    IOWA.  1 6/ 

Those  drafted  were  all  Democrats,  except  two,  Sharp  and  Wiggin,  and  one 
was  his  brother-in-law,  John  Crane. 

About  the  same  time.  Governor  Kirkwood  ordered  the  organization  of 
the  militia.  John  T.  Jenkins  and  Charles  H.  Norton  had  recently  returned 
from  the  war ;  Horatio  P.  Smith,  who  had  previously  lived  in  the  county,  but 
had  served  in  the  Seventh  Iowa  Infantry,  Benjamin  F.  Thomas  and  John  S. 
Wright,  who  had  both  served  in  the  army,  also  came  to  the  county  in  1864, 
all  of  whom  were  looked  upon  as  suitable  candidates  for  offices  in  the  militia. 
There  appears  to  have  been  a  rivalry  to  secure  the  organization  of  the  militia 
on  a  political  basis,  as  if  there  was  an  advantage  to  be  so  obtained.  An  old 
man,  J.  Lyman  Frost,  a  strong  Republican  and  zealous  partisan,  took  a  hand 
and  was  a  leader  in  the  affair.  He  had  been  a  Democrat  in  his  day,  accord- 
ing to  Doctor  Ballard,  and,  as  if  to  emphasize  his  loyalty  and  patriotism, 
became  vastly  obnoxious  to  the  Democrats  in  turn.  He  had  ousted  "Uncle" 
Natty  Hamlin,  first  postmaster  in  the  county,  appointed  by  President  Taylor 
in  1853,  from  the  postoffice  at  Hamlin's  Grove,  on  political  grounds,  Hamlin 
being  a  Kentuckian.  and  a  strong  pro-slavery  man  and  Democrat,  and  had 
secured  the  postoffice  for  himself.  Frost  was  a  disagreeable  man  and  had 
a  penchant  for  getting  into  hot  water  with  his  neighbors,  loving  nothing 
better  than  to  be  in  trouble  with  them.  It  is  said  that  he  was  once  a  preacher. 
But  he  took  part  in  the  organization  of  the  militia  in  favor  of  Smith  and 
against  Thomas,  as  appears  from  the  records  of  the  adjutant-general  of 
Iowa.  The  following  record  shows  the  details  of  the  organization  of  this 
military  company : 

"At  a  meeting  of  the  citizens  of  Exira,  Oakfield  and  Audubon  townships, 
in  the  County  of  Audubon,  State  of  Iowa,  to  form  a  military  Company  under 
Chapter  84,  Laws  of  loth  General  Assembly  of  the  State  of  Iowa,  the  Fol- 
lowing was  the  result  of  the  election  for  Commissioned  Officers  of  the  Com- 

Captain  Horatio   P.    Smith 
1st  Lieut.  Xerxes  Knox 
26.  Lieut.  John  T.  Jenkins 

"Name  of  company  adopted  by  meeting  "AUDUBON  MOUNTED 

"J.  Lyman  Frost,  President. 

"Carlos  E.  Frost,  Secretary, 

1 68  audubon  county^  iowa. 

"muster  roll. 

"Of  the  Mounted  Infantry  Company  of  Audubon  County,  organized 
under  Chapter  84,  Laws  of  the  Regular  Session  of  Tenth  General  Assembly 
of  the 

State  of  Iowa. 

"We,  the  undersigned  do  hereby  acknowledge  to  have  entered  thq 
service  of  the  State  of  Iowa,  as  provided  in  the  afore-mentioned  law  and 
hereby  subject  ourselves  to  all  the  rules,  regulations,  provisions  and  disciplen 
as  therein  set  forth,  and  all  rules  and  regulations  which  may  be  hereafter 
promulgated  by  the  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Militia  of  Iowa. 

Name.  Rank.  Age.  Postofflce.  Residence.  Nativity. 

Horatio  P.  Smith Captain     .31 Oalifleld Oalifield Ohio. 

Xerxes    Knox First    lieutenant 30 Exiia Exira   Ohio. 

John    T.    Jenkins Second    lieutenant 25 Oakfield Oakfieid Kentuck.v. 

Charles   H.    Norton First     sergeant 27 Oakfield Oakfield New  York. 

Dawson   Glasgow Second   sergeant 40 Hamlin's    Grove — Hamlin's    Grove Kentucky. 

Benjamin    F.    Jenkins Third    sergeant 27 Oakfield Oakfield Kentucky. 

George    H.    Simmons First     corporal 22 Exira Exira   England. 

Andrew    J.    Linn Second    corporal 30 Exira Exira   Ohio. 

Howard   J.    Green Third     corporal 33 Exira Exira   New  York. 

Andrew     Lefflngwell Fourth    corporal .37 Exira Exira   Massachusetts. 

Anderson,   Lesanthers Private    18 Exira Exira   Ohio. 

Bateham,     Vincent Private    22 Exira Exira   Indiana. 

Barlow.     Darius Private    3.3 Exira Exira   New  York. 

Bartlett,   Washington Private    43 Oakfield ^r)akfield    Virginia. 

Blackmar,     James Private    27 Exira Exira   New  York. 

Bush.   John  D.   Private    3C Exira Exira   Massachusette. 

Davidson,    Levi   B.    Private    .37 Oakfield Oakfield Ohio. 

Deeds,    Cornelius   W.    Private    27 Hamlin's    Grove — Hamlin's    Grove Ohio. 

Dodge,  Boynton  G.   Private    3."> Exira Exira   New    Hampshire. 

Donnel,   John   M.    Private    -38 Hamlin's    Grovp_-_Hamliu's    Grovc-Ohio. 

Donnel,    James    N.    Private    34 Hamlin's    Grove— -Hamlin's    Grove... Ohio. 

Edgerton.    David   Private    37 Exira Exira   Indiana. 

Frost,    Martin Private    41 Oakfield Oakfield Ohio. 

Frost,    Carlos   E.    Private    .37 Hamlin's    Grove.. -Hamlin's    Grove Ohio! 

Goodale,    Almon Private    36 Oakfield Oakfield Ohio] 

Hardy,   Andrew  N.   Private    ^ 44 Hamlin's    Grove — Hamlin's    Grove New  York. 

Hallock,    Richard   S.    Private    .32 Oakfield Oakfield Illinois. 

Hallock,    John   A.    Private    29 Exira Exira   Illinois. 

Hallock,   Isaac  P.    Private    20 Oakfield Oakfield Illinois. 

Heath,     Mark Private    ...' 41 Oakfield Oakfield Ohio. 

Hyatt,    William Private    18 Oakfield Oakfield Kentucky. 

Lewis,    Richard    M.    Private    43 Oakfield Oakfield Indiana. 

Montgomery,     Joel Private    18 Exira Exira   Illinois. 

Norton,     John Pi'ivate    27 Oakfield Oakfield New  I'ork. 

Pearl,  Wallace  E. Private    .3.5 Oakfield Oakfield New  York. 

Pearl,  Joshua  A. Private    34 Oakfield Oakfield New  Y'ork. 

Porter,    Joseph Private    30 Oakfield Oakfield Canada. 

Sharp,  George  W.   Private    34 Exira Exira   Kentucky. 

Tingle,     John Private    IS Oakfield Oakfield Iowa. 

Tyler,   Oliver   P.    Private    25 Exira Exira   England. 

Wilcox,    Whitman Private    40 Exira Exira   Pennsylvania. 

Wiggin,    Nathaniel Private    28 Exira Exira   New  York. 

Walker,     William Private    30 Hamlin's    Grove — Hamlin's    Grove Ohio. 

Men  over  age  who  have  joined  the  company,  and  if  furnished  arms 
will  do  as  good  service  as  they  can : 

Bush,    Lyman Private  50 Exira Exira   Massachusette 

Beck,   Hiram   M.    Private  .55 Hamlin's    Grove.. .Hamlin's    Grove... Ohio. 

Frost,    J.    Lyman Private  70 Hamlin's    Grove.. -Hamlin's    Grove.. -Connecticut 

Hallock,    Isaac,    Sr.    Private  02 Oakfield Oakfield New  York. 

Lynn.    John,    Sr Private  50 Exira Exira   Ohio. 

Montgomery,    Levi   B.    Private  .55 Exira Exira     Ohio. 

Norton,   William  C.    Private  50 Oakfield ...Oakfield New  York. 

Wilson,    James Private  48 Hamlin's    Grove-. -Hamlin's    Grove...Kentucky. 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  1 69 

Capt.  Horatio  P.  Smith,  sworn  in,  November  19,  1864. 

First  Lieut.  Xerxes  Knox,  sworn  in,  December  17,  1864. 

Second  Lieut.  John  T.  Jenkins,  sworn  in,  December  3,  1864. 

It  further  appears  from  the  records  of  the  adjutant-general  of  Iowa 
that  another  company  of  mihtia  was  attempted  to  be  organized  in  Audubon 
county  about  November  8,  1864. 

"muster  roll. 

"Of  Audubon  County  Riflemen,  Organized  in  the  County  of  Audubon 
under  Chapter  84,  Laws  of  the  Regular  Session  of  Tenth  General  Assembly 
of  the  State  of  Iowa. 

"We  the  undersigned,  do  hereby  acknowledge  to  have  entered  the  service 
of  the  State  of  Iowa,  as  provided  in  the  afore-mentioned  law,  and  hereby 
subject  ourselves  to  all  the  rules,  regulations,  and  discipline  as  therein  set 
forth,  and  all  rules  and  regulations  which  may  be  hereafter  promulgated  by 
the  commander-in-chief  of  the  militia  of  Iowa. 

Name.  Rank.  Age.  Postoffit-e.  Residence.  Nativity. 

B.    F.    Thomas   -Captain     22 Hamlin's    Grove Audubon  Township  Ohio. 

John    S.    Wright First    lieutenant 21 Hamlin's    Grove Audulx)n  Township  Indiana. 

Isaac  Thomas Second    lieutenant 27 Hamlin's    Grove  __  Audubon  Township   Ohio. 

John    Crane Fir^t    sergeant 30 Extra Bxira Ohio. 

James     Poage Sc<'ond    sergeant    Hamlin's    Grove Hamlin's    Grove Illinois. 

Isaac  V.   D.    Lewis Third    sergeant ."tS Hamlin's    Grove Audubon  Township  Indiana. 

Richard    Gault Fourth    sergeant 31 Exira Extra Pennsylvania. 

William    P.    Hamlin First    corporal 42 Exira Exira Kentucky. 

Amherst    Heath Second    corporal .39 Oakfield Oakfield 

John    M.    Donnel Third    corporal 34 Audubon Kentucky. 

Peoria    I.    Whitted Fourth    corporal 3.'> Exira Bxira New   York. 

Samuel    G.    Haywood Fifth     corporal 33 Hamlin's    Grove  —  Audubon Ohio. 

Beers,     Bradley Private    40 

Ballard,   O.    R.   Private    2.5 Oakfield 

Birge,     James Private    2.5 

Brainard,    A.    I,    Private    38 

Bartlett,     Washington Private    43 

Blackmer,   J.    M.    Private    

Beers,    David   B.    Private    25 

Barlow,     Darius     Private    33 : 

Bush,   John   D.    Private    36 

C'alder,    George    H __  Private    36 

Carley,    Lehman Private    39 

Carpenter,     William Private    32 

Dodge,   Boynton  G.   Private    34 

Davidson.    L.    B.    Private    41 

Eagan,     Samuel Private    22 

Edgerton,    David Private    36 — 

Early,     Leonard Private    44 

Eagan,     James Private    28 

Frost,    Martin Private    41 

Frost,    Carlos   E.    Private    .37 

Green,   Howard  J.   Private    36 

Goodale,     Almond Private    36 

Herrick,     Edson Private    44 

Herrick,     Urbane Private    40 

Herrick,   J.   D.   Private  . 

Hubbard,    Julius  M.    Private  33- 

Hiatt,    William  H.    Private  _ 

Heath,     Mark Private  40_ 

Howlett,  Samuel,  Jr. Private  20. 

Howlett,    Samuel,    Sr.    Private  .30- 

Heath,    A.    Private  39_ 

Houston,    A.    B.     Private  40- 


Hallock.    Isaac    P.,    Jr.    Private  24_ 

Hallock.    John    A.    Private  28- 

Hardy,   Andrew  M. Private  44_ 

Howlett,     James Private  40- 

Jenkins,    Benjamin   F.    Private  26- 

Johnson,    Samuel Private  29- 

Jones,   Giles   N.   Private  33- 

Jenkins,    Isaac    H.    Private  21_ 

Jardine,    Walter   J.    Private  19- 

Lewis,    Richard  M.    Private  42- 

Lefiingwell.    A.    J.    Private  - 

Lewis,    Thomas   S.    Private  37_ 

Milliman,     Bryant Private  36- 

Mullinger.    William   R.    Private  32- 

Xorton,    John    C.    Private  - 

Poage.    George  T.   Private  - 

Parmley,    Richard    F.    Private  23- 

Pullam,    R.   F.   Private  33- 

Pearl,    E.    W.    Private  35- 

Pearl,  Joshua  A.   Private  33- 

Paige.    J.    A Private  21- 

Scharff,     Michael Private  27- 

Sharp,    George   W.    Private  34- 

Smith,    Oliver Private  30- 

Ward,    Chauncey  E.    Private  30- 

Wiggins,     Nathaniel Private  38- 

Walker,     William Private  30- 

The  names  of  this  roll  show  that  all  the  officers  of  Captain  Thomas's 
company,  except  one,  and  fifty  of  the  privates  were  Democrats,  some  of 
them  emphatic  anti-war  men.  It  appears  that  the  commissions  of  the  officers 
were  sent  by  the  adjutant-general  to  J.  Lyman  Frost,  the  then  postmaster 
at  Hamlin's  Grove,  a  rigid  Republican,  to  act  as  mustering  officer,  and  to 
deliver  them  to  the  company  officers-elect  upon  taking  their  proper  oaths  of 
office;  but  that  he  declined  to  muster  them  or  to  deliver  the  commissions, 
presumably  because  he  knew  many  members  of  the  company  to  be  anti-war 
men,  and  of  questionable  loyalty  or  patriotism  to  the  country. 

Captain  Thomas,  who  is  now  living,  says  that  his  commission  was  not 
delivered  to  him,  but  was  found  on  the  prairie,  having  evidently  been  thrown 
away.  And  he  further  says  that  arms  were  not  issued  to  his  men,  as  it  was 
considered  dangerous  to  do  so,  fearing  that  the  men  would  fight  among 
themselves,  as  the  excitement  was  intense  between  the  Union  and  anti-war 
men.  He  wrote  recently  that  he  was  nominated  for  captain  by  John  A.  Hal- 
lock, and  further  says  that  one  of  the  members  of  his  company  waylaid  for 
John  A.  Hallock  in  the  Big  Grove,  but  failed  to  meet  him.  "Some  things  I 
would  scarcely  dare  to  write.     It  will  take  generations  to  blot  out  the  evil  that 

was  sown  in  those  days.     When  the  draft  was  riot,  started  for 

'Uncle  Natty's'  by  night  to  organize  against  it,  but  got  lost  in  the  darkness  and 
returned.  One  night  I  had  a  dream  that  my  company  were  rebels,  dressed  in 
butternut  uniforms, — so  I  resigned."  It  has  been  stated  that  arms  and  ammu- 
nition were  sent  to  the  county  and  were  secreted  in  the  chamber  of  the  house 
of  Howard  J.  Green,  to  be  used  by  the  Union  men  if  necessary;  but  this  is 


An  old  settler,  who  is  a  Christian  gentleman  and  a  lifelong  Democrat, 
recently  told  the  writer  that  at  the  time  President  Lincoln  was  assassinated 
he  met  a  man  in  the  timber  on  the  road  from  Troublesome  to  the  steam  mill 
(at  Louisville),  and,  in  conversation,  asked  him  if  he  had  heard  the  news. 
The  man  asked  to  what  he  referred,  and  he  then  informed  him  that  it  was 
reported  that  Lincoln  had  been  assassinated.  "Thank  God  for  that,"  he 
fervently  responded.  The  gentleman  reproved  him  and  said  that  he  should 
not  make  such  remarks. 

The  same  gentleman  also  said  that  another  prominent  man  on  the  same 
occasion  set  out  free  whiskey  all  day  at  his  residence  to  any  one  who  would 
drink  it,  in  approval  of  the  event,  and  was  apparently  rejoiced  that  Lincoln 
was  gone. 

The  writer  recalls  that  in  1865  it  was  currently  rumored  and  believed 
that  the  anti-war  party  in  Audubon  county  were  elated  at  Lincoln's  death. 
But  in  later  years  that  fact  has  been  disclaimed. 

During  war  times  Judge  Daniel  M.  Harris  published  a  violent  anti-war 
paper,  the  Guthrie  County  Ledger,  which  was  generally  circulated  and  read 
in  Audubon  county.  It  was  the  Democratic  organ  in  this  part  of  Iowa. 
At  a  political  meeting  in  the  old  school  house  in  Exira  in  1866,  the  Judge 
said  that  two  things  should  be  found  in  every  family,  the  Bible  and  the 
Guthrie  County  Ledger.  The  latter  part  of  the  statement  was  literally 
observed  by  his  followers. 

The  Judge  once  told  the  writer  that,  as  a  member  of  the  Iowa  Legisla- 
ture, he  supported  every  war  measure  passed  by  that  body  in  1861.  He  cer- 
tainly changed  his  political  sentiments  soon  afterwards.  In  later  years  his 
political  utterances  were  greatly  modified.  Not  long  before  his  death  he 
wrote  and  published  in  his  paper,  the  Missouri  Valley  Times,  on  the  occasion 
of  the  anniversary  of  Lincoln's  birth,  an  encomium  of  Lincoln  not  surpassed 
for  patriotism  by  anything  then  published. 

The  following  letters  from  the  adjutant-general  of  Iowa,  confirm  the 
statements  of  Captain  Thomas,  relative  to  the  action  of  J.  Lyman  Frost  and 
the  militia. 

"State  of  Iowa, 
"Adjutant-General's  Office, 
"Davenport,  October  15,  1864. 
"Benjamin  F.  Thomas, 

"Sir :     Your  letter  to  the  Governor  has  been  referred  to  me  for  answer. 
"Your   muster    roll   has   not   been   received    from   Frost   as    vet.      Get 


proper  blanks,  make  out  your  roll  and  certificate  of  election  and  forward 
direct  to  me,  and  your  commission  will  be  forthcoming  in  due  time. 

"They  will  be  sent  you  through  J.  L.  FroSt,  who  will  deliver  them  to 
you  upon  your  taking  the  required  oath. 

"Yours  etc., 

"N.  B.  Baker, 
"Adj.-Genl.,  Iowa." 

"State  of  Iowa, 
"Adjutant-General's  Office, 
"B.  F.  Thomas,  "Davenport,  December  5,  1864. 

"Hamlin's  Grove, 

"Dr.  Sir :  I  have  given  J.  L.  Frost  a  peremptory  order  to  issue  your 
commissions  after  you  have  taken  the  oath — which  may  be  done  before  any 
notary  public  or  justice  of  the  peace.  Enclosed  find  blanks  for  the  purpose. 
Write  me  if  further  delay  is  experienced. 

"Yours  etc., 

"N.  B.  Baker, 

"A.  G." 

The  records  of  the  office  of  the  adjutant-general  show  that  commissions 
issued  for  the  officers  of  Captain  Thomas's  company  on  November  19,  1864, 
but  it  does  not  appear  that  they  were  delivered  to  them.  Captain  Thomas  now 
says  that  he  and  his  commissioned  officers  were  sworn  in. 

Notwithstanding  the  unhappy  events  related,  which  transpired  locally 
at  home  during  that  period  of  hardships  and  distress,  the  soldiers  who  went 
to  war  and  gave  their  lives  and  services  to  perpetuate  the  government,  estab- 
lished a  proud  record  and  inheritance  for  the  people  of  this  county  which  is 
most  estimable  and  should  ever  be  profoundly  cherished  and  never  forgotten. 
They  are  richly  entitled,  as  always  has  been  the  custom  of  the  country,  to 
have  erected  to  their  memories,  elaborately  carved  in  stone,  at  some  con- 
venient place,  a  monument,  consecrated  to  their  fidelity,  patriotism  and  loyalty 
to  the  cause  of  the  Union,  and  for  which  they  served,  fought,  bled  and  died. 
Some  of  the  people,  who,  in  their  short-sightedness,  at  that  period  opposed 
the  war,  some  of  whom  are  now  alive,  lived  to  witness  their  folly  and  to 
observe  the  great  value  and  prosperity  of  this  great  undivided  country,  the 
best  on  earth ;  the  home  of  teeming  millions  of  prosperous,  happy,  intelligent, 
liberty-loving  people ;  and  great  and  powerful  enough,  and  willing,  to  protect 
its  citizens  anywhere  on  earth.  From  such  small  beginning,  the  county 
reached  its  present,  happy,  prosperous  position  in  the  galaxy  of  sister  counties 
in  the  great,  proud  state  of  Iowa. 



The  following  list  includes  the  lawyers,  past  and  present,  who  have  been 
admitted  to  the  bar  of  Audubon  county,  with  residences  and  dates  of  practice : 

Daniel  W.  Harris,  Exira,  1854-1861,  1874. 

Thomas  S.  Lewis,  Audubon  township,  1854. 

John  A.  Hallock,  Exira,  1863,  never  practiced. 

John  W.  Scott,  Exira,  1868. 

John  M.  Griggs,  Audubon  and  Exira,  1869  to  date. 

Daniel  W.  Scribner,  Exira,  1869. 

Henry  F.  Andrews,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1870  to  date. 

Charles  D.  Gray,  Exira,  1871-1875. 

John  Southwick,  Exira,  1872- 1874. 

Emerson  H.  Kimball,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1872,  never  practiced. 

Richard  W.  Griggs,  Exira,  1874-83. 

Henry  W.  Hanna,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1874- 1902. 

Melvin  Nichols,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1877-1885. 

J.  Mack  Love,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1878. 

Frank  M.  VanPelt,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1878- 1884. 

John  A.  Nash,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1878-1913. 

Byron  S.  Phelps,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1878-1905. 

Joseph  L.  Stotts,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1878- 1885. 

Matt  Matthews,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1878.     - 

Benjamin  F.  Thacker,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1878,  never  practiced. 

Henry  U.  Funk,  Audubon,  1878- 1903. 

T.  J.  Reigart,  Audubon,  1878. 

J.  O.  Andrews,  Audubon,  1878- 1884. 

Robert  C.  Carpenter,  Audubon,  1878-1896. 

Andrew  F.  Armstrong,  Audubon,  1880- 1893. 

Robert  G.  Cousins,  Audubon,  1881-1883. 

E.  E.  Byrum,  Audubon,   1884-90. 

Charles  Bagley,  Audubon,  1882  to  date. 

K.  O.  Holmes,  Audubon,  1882- 1884. 


John  W.  McCord,  Audubon,  1879-84. 

E.  H.  Hurd,  Audubon,  1888. 

Frank  E.  Brainard,  Audubon,  1884- 1899. 

Theodore  F.  Myres,  Audubon,  1884. 

Isaac  L.  Statzell,  Exira,  1884-97. 

George  Love,  Audubon,  1884. 

William  R.  Green,  Audubon,  1 886-191 4. 

A.  F.  Bell,  Audubon,  1880-3. 

Walter  R.  Copeland,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1890- 1894. 

Virgil  E.  Horton,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1890-1910. 

Daniel  M.  Reynolds,  Brayton,  1890. 

WiHiam  Wonn,  Audubon,  189 1899. 

Bernard  Noon,  Audubon. 
Henry  M.  Gray,  Audubon,  1893. 
James  M.  Graham,  Audubon,  1894  to  date. 
John  Mosier,  Audubon,  1895-1901. 
George  F.  Kapp,  Exira,  1898-1905. 
John  A.  Graham,  Audubon,  1897  to  date. 
George  W.  Cosson,  Audubon,  1898  to  date. 
Joe  H.  Ross,  Audubon,  1899  to  date. 
William  C.  Elliott,  Audubon,  1900-1912. 
T.  M.  Rasmussen,  Exira,  1904  to  date. 
Halleck  J.  Mantz,  Audubon,  1904  to  date. 
Charles  S.  White,  Audubon,  1904  to  date. 
Sidney  C.  Kerberg,  Audubon,  19 13  to  date. 
Lewis  C.  Bagley,  Audubon,  191  o  to  date. 



The  following  physicians  have  practiced,  at  one  time  or  another,  in  Audu- 
bon county,  the  record  also  giving  their  residences  and  dates  of  practice : 

Samuel  M.  Ballard,  M.  D.,  Oakfield,  1851-1883. 

Richard  S.  Hallock,  M.  D.,  Oakfield,  1856- 1882. 

James  E.  Ham,  Exira,  1858-1863. 

Arlington  M.  Harrington,  Exira,  1865- 1902. 

William  Johnston,  Oakfield  and  Bray  ton,  1868- 1883. 

Cyrus  Ingham,  1869. 

Charles  W.  Jackson,  Exira,  1869- 1876. 

James  M.  Rendleman,  M.  D.,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1872  to  date. 

Scott,  Exira,  1874. 

Charles  H.  Andrews,  M.  D.,  Exira,  1875-1896. 

J.  M.  Louthan,  Exira  and  Hamlin,  1875- 1879. 

J.  H.  Wheelis,  Exira.  1875-1878. 

John  D.  Holmes,  M.  D.,  Hamlin  and  Audubon,  1877- 1890. 

Hugh  Bell,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1878-1880. 

John  F.  Cloughley,  M.  D..  Audubon,  1878-1889. 

John  Riley,  M.  D.,  Exira,  1880  to  date. 

Peter  M.  Sheafor,  Audubon,  1879-83. 

A.  T.  Yeager,  Viola  Center,  1880. 

R.  H.  Brown,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1879. 

Joseph  T.  Breniman,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1879-1885. 

S.  H.  Phelps,  Audubon,  1880. 

T.  N.  Kirkpatrick,  M.  D.,  Brayton,  1880-1883. 

Ransom  L.  Harris,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  18S1-1908. 

Charles  W.  Ullrich,  M.  D.,  Audubon,   1881. 

Frank  L.  Hinsdale,  M.  D.,  Gray,  1882-1883. 

J.  M.  Guild,  Exira,  1882-1886. 

William  A.  Welch,  Conkling  and  Exira,  1882-1885. 

Robert  Evans,  Audubon,   1883. 

Alfred  L.  Brooks,  M.  D.,  Gray  and  Audubon,  1883  to  date. 

C.  D.  Calkins.  Brayton,  1883. 

J.  H.  Schenck,  Brayton,  1884- 1886. 


Daniel  G.  Lass,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1885-1886. 

Charles  J.  Saunders,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1885. 

Charles  W.  DeMotte,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1886-1 897. 

Lawrence  A.  Beers,  M.  D.,  Gray,  1886-1912. 

J.  H.  Kern,  M.  D.,  Brayton  and  Kimballton,  1 887-1 891. 

H.  E.  Jewell,  M.  D.,  Viola  Center,  1887-1894. 

E.  E.  Sprague,  Audubon,  1887. 

Warren  A.  Sayers,  M.  D.,  Brayton,  1887. 

Howard  D.  Miller.  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1 889-1902. 

George  W.  A.  Yates,  M.  D.,  Brayton,  1889-1890. 

Fred  Steffensen,  M.  D.,  Brayton,  1891-1902. 

William  R.  Koob,  M.  D.,  Brayton,  1892  to  date. 

Christian  Eger,  Audubon,   1892- 1896. 

D.  H.  Lewis,  Audubon,  1892. 

John  C.  Newlon,  M.  D.,  Exira,  1893  to  date. 

N.  P.  Lauretsen,  M.  D.,  Exira  and  Audubon,  1894-1909. 

D.  W.  Layman,  Exira,  1894. 

Jens  Molgaard,  Audubon,  1895-1898. 

Thomas  M.  Jewell,  \l.  D.,  Viola  Center,  1895. 

George  W.  Gleason,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1895. 

James  A.  Somerville,  M.  D.,  Audubon.   1897. 

Ratford  F.  Child,  M.  D..  Audubon,  1898  to  date. 

A.  J.  Beebe,  M.  D..  Viola  Center,  1898- 1899. 

Daniel  Jackson,  i\L  D.,  Audubon,  1899-1905. 

John  M.  Fulton,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1899  to  date. 

L.  Slamborg,  M.  D.,  Kimballton,  1899. 

Peter  E.  James,  M.  D.,  Kimballton,  1902  to  date. 

Fritz  Rosenbladt,  ■NL  D.,  Audubon,  1904-1912. 

Robert  A.  Jacobsen,  M.  D..  Exira,  1905  to  date. 

James  Richards,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1905-1907. 

William  B.  Thornburg,  M.  D.,  Gray,  IQ05. 

Charles  L.  Smith,  Gray  and  Audubon,  1907- 19 10. 

George  A.  May,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  191 1  to  date. 

J.  E.  Myers,  M.  D.,  Gray.  1912-1913. 

Peter  Soe,  M.  D.,  Kimballton,  19 12  to  date. 

James  P.  Miller,  M.  D..  Gray,  191 2. 

Eva  D.  Mosteller,  M.  D..  Gray,  1912. 

Daniel  Franklin,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1914  to  date. 

William  H.  Halloran,  M.  D.,  Audubon,  1915. 

Charles  L.  Downer,  Gray. 



The  first  newspaper  in  the  county  was  the  Audubon  County  Pioneer, 
started  at  Audubon  City  in  December,  i860,  by  John  C.  Brown  and  J.  J. 
Van  Haughton.  It  was  Democratic,  and  pubHshed  the  deHnquent  tax  hst 
for  that  year.  It  was  moved  to  Lewis,  Iowa,  where  the  same  proprietors 
started  the  Cass  County  Gazette,  in  January,  1861.  Both  were  Democrats, 
but  their  paper  stood  for  the  Union,  and  in  September,  18-62,  both  became 
members  of  Company  I,  Twenty-third  Iowa  Infantry.  Brown  became 
captain  and  was  killed  at  Milliken's  Bend,  June  7,  1863;  Van  Haughton 
succeeded  to  the  captaincy,  served  through  the  war,  and  returned  to  Lewis. 

About  1 87 1,  Lafe  Young,  editor  and  proprietor  of  the  Atlantic  Tele- 
graph, devoted  a  page  of  his  paper  to  Audubon  county  affairs  and  news, 
edited  by  H.  F.  Andrews.  It  was  Republican.  The  Telegraph  was  selected 
by  the  board  of  supervisors  as  the  official  paper  of  Audubon  county,  on 
April  4,  1 87 1,  and,  for  the  first  time  in  the  county,  the  proceedings  of  the 
supervisors  were  printed  in  a  newspaper. 

In  the  winter  of  1870-1,  the  Democrats  organized  a  printing  company 
at  Exira  and  started  the  Audubon  County  Sentinel,  edited  by  Royal 
Lespenasse,  a  French  gentleman.  He  was  succeeded  by  James  P.  Lair,  as 
editor.  Later  Lespenasse  purchased  the  plant  and  continued  it  until  1873. 
The  materials  of  the  of^ce  were  old-fashioned,  badly  assorted  and  worn, 
but  its  genial  editor  was  an  enterprising,  energetic  gentleman,  who  gathered 
and  spread  the  news  industriously,  and  let  it  be  known  that  Audubon 
county  and  Exira  were  on  the  map.  It  served  to  advance  public  atfairs 
as  a  resident  newspaper.  In  the  spring  of  1873,  Judge  Daniel  M.  Harris 
came  back  to  Exira,  bought  out  the  paper  and  changed  the  name  to  Audu- 
bon County  Defender.  He  managed  it  a  year  and  sold  out.  In  1874 
Emerson  H.  Kimball  took  charge  of  the  Defender  as  a  Democratic  paper. 
He  was  a  New  Hampshire  Yankee  and  first  approached  Audubon  county 
by  way  of  Carroll,  settling  in  section  16,  Viola  township.  His  acquaintance 
with  Exira  was  as  Democratic  candidate  for  recorder  in  1872.  While 
electioneering  that  year  he  met  a  crowd  in  front  of  the  Houston  house  in 

178  AUDUBON    COUNTY,,    IOWA, 

Exira  one  evening,  among  whom  were  A.  B.  Houston,  Albert  I.  Brainard, 
P.  I.  Whitted,  the  Cranes,  and  others  of  the  most  bitter  types  of  the  then 
Democracy.  To  attract  their  attention  and  enhst  their  support,  Kimball 
blackguarded  General  Grant,  and  held  him  up  to  ridicule  and  derision  as  an 
incompetent  and  a  butcher,  comparing  him  with  most  uncomplimentary 
terms  with  that  arch  traitor  and  rebel.  Gen.  Robert  E.  Lee.  John  M. 
Griggs,  who  was  present,  became  disgusted  and  insulted,  and  "called  him 
down."  He  said,  "Mr.  Kimball,  you  were  a  soldier  and  should  not  speak 
in  that  way."  "Yes,  I  was  a  soldier,  but  was  never  in  a  fight,"  answered 
Kimball.  It  appears  that  he  served  in  the  Thirteenth  Maine  Infantry, 
which,  of  all  the  Maine  regiments,  did  not  "smell  powder."  It  was  com- 
manded by  Neal  Dow,  of  temperance  fame,  who  was  captured  by  the  rebels 
at  Port  Hudson.  But,  upon  finding  what  they  had  caught,  they  were  dis- 
gusted with  his  lack  of  soldierly  qualities,  and  sent  word  to  the  Federal 
authorities  that  if  they  did  not  send  supplies  for  Dow,  they  would  turn  him 

So  it  is  probable  that  Kimball  was  not  a  prize  soldier.  Perhaps  he 
would  have  succeeded  better  under  more  favorable  opportunities.  He 
served  two  years  as  recorder,  but  failed  of  re-election.  When  he  took  over 
the  Defender  he  erected  a  new  printing  office  building  and  residence  com- 
bined; and  equipped  the  office  with  new  materials  in  fairly  good  style.  He 
conducted  the  paper  and  business  strictly  in  the  interests  of  the  opponents 
of  Exira,  which  arrayed  the  people  of  Exira'and  their  friends  against  him. 
In  1877,  through  the  influence  of  Joe  Stotts,  Kimball  was  bought  up  to  sup- 
port Hon.  William  F.  Sapp,  of  Council  Bluffs,  Republican  candidate  for 
Congress.  His  paper  changed  on  the  instant,  chameleon-like,  to  a  Republi- 
can (?)  organ.  He  came  out  with  a  statement  that  he  was  happy  to  live  to 
see  and  reform  the  errors  of  his  past  political  mistakes,  etc.,  but  that  his 
paper  henceforth  would  be  Republican  with,  a  big  R.  No  one  believed  his 
hypocritical  cant  and  in  the  winter  of  1877-8,  he  transferred  his  interest  m 
the  paper  and  left  the  county,  despised  alike  by  saint  and  sinner.  To 
emphasize  his  disgrace,  he  was  arrested  on  the  charge  of  stealing  a  hog. 
He  did  not  have  friends  enough  in  the  county  to  float  his  disgraceful  sheet 

In  the  winter  of  1877-8,  John  A.  Hallock  and  A.  L.  Campbell  took 
charge  of  the  Defender  and  conducted  it  as  a  Repul)lican  paper  at  Exira, 
successfully  for  several  years,  until  after  the  removal  of  the  county  seat  to 
Audubon,  when  they  sold  it  to  William  A.  Millerman  and  William  A. 
Crane,  who  conducted  it  as  a  Democratic  paper.     Milliman  sold  his  interest 

AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA.  1 79  ' 

to  Van  Buren  Crane,  and  the  proprietors,  Crane  &  Crane,  moved  the  con- 
cern to  Audubon  and  the  Defender  was  merged  with  the  Audubon  Advo- 
cate. Then  Van  Buren  Crane  sold  his  interest  to  Frank  D.  Allen  and  the 
firm  became  Allen  &  Crane.  William  A.  Crane  soon  retired  from  the  part- 

About  this  time,  1888,  the  Western  Blizzard,  of  Gray,  was  merged 
with  the  Advocate,  and  Frank  D.  Allen  became  sole  proprietor  and  editor 
of  the  paper.  It  was  not  an  influential  journal  under  the  management  of 
Mr.  Allen. 

At  some  time  after  the  Cranes  obtained  the  Defender,  Richard  W. 
Griggs  and  Hiram  Statzell  published  a  "one-horse"  sheet  at  Exira,  called 
the  Defender,  which  was  sold  to  Bert  Simmons,  who  turned  it  back  to 
Griggs,  and  he  took  the  outfit  to  Kansas  in   1883. 

In  1876  Mr.  Lespenasse  set  up  a  new  printing  office  at  Exira  and 
revived  the  Sentinel,  under  the  management  of  D.  D.  StandifT,  but  Les- 
penasse did  not  then  reside  here  personally.  Typographically,  it  was  in 
advance  of  any  newspaper  that  had  previously  been  printed  in  the  county. 
It  was  a  decided  factor  in  driving  Kimball  out  of  business,  by  decreasing 
the  circulation  of  his  paper.  The  Sentinel  was  not  a  financial  success  and 
collapsed  in  1877,  for  want  of  proper  management,  when  Hallock  and 
Campbell  obtained  control  of  the  Defender. 

In  1878  Harlan  P.  Albert  started  a  Democratic  paper  at  Hamlin, 
assuming  the  name  and  serial  number  of  the  defunct  Audubon  County 
Sentinel,  which  was  soon  moved  to  Exira  and  conducted  there  until  the 
following  year.  It  was  then  removed  to  Audubon  and  continued  there  until 
about  1884.  This  paper  attracted  some  attention.  Mr.  Albert  was  a  man 
with  a  head  of  red  hair;  hence  was  called  "Pinkey."  He  gave  to  his  paper 
the  sub-title,  or  motto,  of  "Pinkey's  Pious  Paper,"  which,  for  notoriety, 
was  sometimes  printed  on  pink  colored  paper;  but  its  character  was  far 
from  any  idea  of  piety.  It  was  funny  and  witty;  often  obscene  and  inde- 
cent; not  a  choice  article  for  family  reading,  nor  suitable  for  Sunday  school 
literature.  Albert  was  industrious,  persevering  and  freely  catered  the  news. 
At  one  time  he  became  fiercely  hostile  against  John  M.  Griggs,  the  lawyer; 
loaded  his  paper  with  bombastic  slurs  and  malicious  comments  and  slan- 
ders about  him ;  adorned  himself  with  belt  and  pistols ;  wore  Indian  moc- 
casins, and  made  loud  threats  of  what  he  intended  to  do,  etc.  Griggs  bore 
with  him  a  while,  but  getting  tired  of  the  abuse,  put  a  gun  in  his  pocket  and 
called  upon  Mr.  Albert  at  his  office.  Upon  meeting  Albert,  Griggs  drew  his 
revolver  and  announced:     "I  understood  you  were  looking  for  me,  and  here 


I  am."  Albert,  who  was  engaged  in  locking  up  a  form,  promptly  threw  an 
iron  "shooting  stick"  at  Griggs,  but  missed  him.  The  sheriff  and  Mr. 
Nichols  seized  Griggs  by  his  gun  arm,  but  could  not  disarm  him  until  he 
had  emptied  the  contents  of  his  gun  into  the  ceiling.  Albert  would  not 
stand  fire,  but  fled,  and  Griggs  was  arrested.  Not  long  afterwards  the 
Sentinel  was  merged  into  the  Advocate,  and  Albert  left  the  county. 

Like  a  bad  penny,  Kimball  returned  and,  on  January  i,  1879,  on  bor- 
rowed capital,  under  opposition,  issued  the  first  number  of  the  Audubon 
Advocate  at  Audubon.  As  "Uncle  Jim"  Davis  once  said:  "The  cuss  had 
talent."  His  aggressive,  extravagant  style  took  with  the  progressive  ele- 
ment, who  were  promoting  the  young  city  and  who  had  not  yet  learned  his 
character.  Benjamin  F.  Thacker  soon  became  associated  with  him  in  the 
concern,  under  the  firm  style  of  Kimball  &  Thacker,  but  it  was  of  short 
duration.  Before  the  end  of  the  year  Seth  Paine,  who  had  furnished  the 
capital  for  the  enterprise,  came  on  from  Chicago  and  took  possession  of 
the  plant,  to  obtain  his  pay.  Under  the  management  of  Mr.  Paine,  the 
paper  was  improved  and  secured  a  reliable  standing.  He  was  energetic  and 
sought  the  improvement  of  the  community.  On  January  i,  1881,  he  issued 
an  edition  of  four  thousand  five  hundred  copies  of  the  paper,  giving  the 
county,  and  especially  the  town  of  /Vudubon,  a  grand  boom,  which  was  sent 
broadcast  over  the  country  and  even  to  Europe.  This  effort  was  supposed 
to  have  brought  the  result  of  many  new  settlers  to  the  county.  In  1882  the 
paper  was  sold  to  R.  Moore  Carpenter,  who  conducted  it  successfully,  as 
a  Democratic  organ.  In  1888  it  passed  to  Crane  &  Crane  and  in  the  same 
year  Van  Buren  Crane  sold  his  interest  to  Frank  D.  Allen  of  the  Western 
Blizzard,  and  the  firm  became  Allen  &  Crane.  Mr.  Allen  soon  became  sole 
proprietor.  Under  his  control  it  was  a  failure,  and  exerted  but  little  influ- 

In  1879  Emerson  H.  Kimball  again  entered  the  journalistic  field  as 
proprietor  and  editor  of  the  Times  at  Audubon,  virtually  a  gift  from  the 
railroad  company.  His  prospects  were  the  brightest  of  anyone  who  had 
ever  started  in  the  newspaper  business  in  the  county.  But  he  had  not 
yet  learned  the  faculty  of  success.  He  turned  the  paper  to  the  abuse  of 
those  with  whom  he  did  not  agree,  and  the  kindnesses  of  his  friends 
were  devoted  to  promote  his  own  selfish  ends.  He  stirred  up  and  kept  alive 
the  antagonisms  between  Audubon  and  Exira,  and  spared  no  efforts  to 
slander  and  scandalize  everybody  with  whom  he  disagreed.  He  kept  slan- 
derous effusions  standing  in  the  columns  of  the  paper  against  those  he  dis- 
liked for  pure  devilishment,   until  people  became  tired  and  disgusted  with 


him  and  his  paper.  On  one  occasion  his  firm  and  fast  friend,  Arthur  L, 
Sanborn,  postmaster  at  Audubon,  fell  into  some  difficulty  with  the  post- 
office  department,  and  Kimball  went  to  Washington,  ostensibly  to  accom- 
modate the  matter  for  his  friend,  but  returned  with  a  commission  to  himself 
as  postmaster  at  Audubon.  Of  course,  friendship  ceased  between  Kimball 
and  Sanborn. 

In  1885,  when  the  Jellison  murderers  were  taken  from  the  jail  and 
lynched  at  Audubon,  Kimball  gave  an  account  of  the  affair  in  his  paper, 
indicating  approval  of  it,  saying  that  at  the  time  of  his  writing,  parties 
were  in  an  adjoining  room  to  his  office  discussing  and  arranging-  for  the 
lynching.  There  were  rumors  at  the  time  that  Kimball  was  present  at  the 
lynching,  but  those  who  knew  him  believed  he  was  too  big  a  coward  to  risk 
getting  hurt  by  taking  an  active  part  in  it.  His  decline  was  as  sudden  as 
his  rise  had  been.  The  paper  flattened  out  in  1886,  and  he  shipped  his  office 
materials  away  from  Audubon  in  the  name  of  another  than  himself,  pre- 
sumably to  avoid  creditors.  When  he  left  he  was  owing  one  party  several 
hundred  dollars,  which  has  never  been  paid.  He  went  to  the  wilds  of 
Wyoming,  and  was  soon  in  difficulty  there.  High  officials  in  Wyoming 
wrote  to  parties  in  Audubon  seeking  to  learn  Kimball's  character. 

About  1 88 1 -2  a  man  named  Jones  puljlished  a  newspaper  at  Gray,  the 
name  of  which  is  forgotten.  It  was  continued  by  Hiram  Statzell  a  short 

In  1885  Timothy  Y.  Paine,  a  crippled  youth,  son  of  Seth  Paine,  Esq., 
for  pastime,  published  the  Liberator,  a  weekly  paper,  at  Audubon.  At  first 
it  was  a  folio,  about  a  foot  square,  which  was  increased  to  a  four-column 
folio,  all  composed  by  the  proprietor,  and  printed  by  him  on  a  hand-press. 
It  contained  a  neat  directory  of  the  professional  men  and  business  houses 
of  Audubon,  with  the  current  news,  witty,  spicy  paragraphs,  and  a  few 
specially  selected  "ads."  It  was  the  pet  and  pride  of  the  owner,  whose  life 
was  attached  to  his  little  paper,  and  it  was  generously  patronized  for  his 
sake.  Poor  little  Timmy  died  suddenly  in  1888,  and  the  paper  ceased  with 
his  death.     It  was  one  of  the  bright  spots  in  the  history  of  Audubon. 

In  September,  1885,  George  W.  Guernsey  established  the  Audubon 
County  Journal  at  Exira.  It  was  independent  and  non-partisan,  and  took 
the  serial  number  of  the  former  Exira  paper;  but  was  virtually  a  new  enter- 
prise. ]\Ir.  Guernsey  was  a  practical  printer  and  journalist.  He  gave  one 
of  the  best  newspapers  ever  published  in  the  county.  It  continued  after 
his  death  and  was  published  by  his  widow,  who  in  1899,  sold  it  to  C.  A. 

1 82  AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA. 

Marlin,  who  conducted  it  as  an  independent  Democratic  organ.     He  turned 
it  over  to  his  brother,  Chester  A.  Marhn. 

Samuel  T.  Thompson  published  the  Gray  Eagle  about  1889-90. 

The  Audubon  Republican  was  started  by  Ed  B.  Cousins  and  Sidney 
Foster  at  Audubon  in  December,  1886.  The  firm  was  Cousins  &  Foster. 
Foster  was  succeeded  by  William  H.  McClure  about  1888,  and  the  firm 
became  Cousins  &  McClure.  In  February,  1894,  they  sold  the  business  to 
James  E.  Griffith,  who  sold  it  to  David  C.  Mott  in  the  spring  of  1897.  O^^ 
July  I,  1905,  Mott  sold  it  to  Albert  C.  Ross,  who  continued  the  business  and 
sold  the  paper  to  the  present  proprietor,  Henry  J.  Hoogenakker,  October 
I,  191 1.  It  has  been  a  straight  RepubHcan  journal  from  its  organization 
and  the  leading  party  organ  in  the  county.  It  is  an  ornament  to  journalism 
and  has  always  wielded  a  healthy  influence  in  the  political,  social  and  busi- 
ness affairs  of  the  community. 

The  Western  Blizzard,  an  independent  journal,  was  started  by  Allen 
&  Waitman,  at  Gray  in  1887.  Frank  D.  Allen  soon  became  proprietor.  Its 
motto  was :  "It  blows  for  humanity."  Its  character  was  suggested  by  its 
name — bizarre,  boisterous,  sensational,  extravagant  and  lurid;  but  it  did 
not  appeal  to  the  tastes  of  people  generally.  It  merged  into  the  Audubon 
Advocate  about  1888-9.  ^"^  1889  the  Aubudon  Advocate  was  sold  by  Mr. 
Allen  to  Robert  C.  Spencer  and  James  M.  Graham.  It  was  edited  a  short 
time  by  John  A.  Graham,  when  Mr.  Graham's  interest  was  sold  to  S.  C. 
Curtis  and  the  proprietors  have  since  been  Spencer  &  Curtis,  with  Mr. 
Spencer  as  editor  and  manager,  and  Mr.  Curtis  as  publisher  and  foreman. 
It  is  Democratic  in  politics  and  is  a  leading,  popular  newspaper. 

In  1891,  Nis  Larsen,  now  of  Brayton,  established  a  non-partison 
paper  at  Audubon,  printed  in  the  Danish  language,  called  the  Dansk 
Folketidende  (Danish  People  News).  It  continued  two  years  and  was 
transferred  to  Elkhorn,  Iowa. 

H.  F.  Andrews  started  a  job  printing  office  at  Exira,  in  1900,  which 
continued   until    1905. 

On  January  i,  1905,  the  Lancelots  became  proprietors  of  the  Audubon 
County  Journal,  and  have  since  added  to  the  already  well-equipped  plant 
of  the  paper.  It  is  one  of  the  up-to-date  journals  of  western  Iowa.  The 
proprietors  have  adhered  to  the  original  policy  of  the  paper  of  making  it 
strictly  a  newspaper,  and  have  not  hesitated  to  speak  out  on  national,  state 
and  local  issues  when  vital  to  the  interests  of  good  citizenship.  It  is  an 
independent  paper. 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  1 83 

The  Kimballton-Elk  Horn  Record  was  founded  at  Kimballton,  by  G. 
R.  Osborn,  January  i,  19 13,  and  is  a  non-partisan  paper.  It  was  incor- 
porated in  March,  191 5.     The  present  editor  is  Fred  N.  Harmon. 

Audubon  county  was  cursed  at  times  by  some  of  its  newspapers,  as  has 
been  shown,  but  for  many  years  they  have  been  all  that  could  be  desired  in 
any  community.  By  their  untiring  efforts  and  public  spirit  they  have  been 
prominent,  influential  factors  in  promoting  the  social  affairs  of  the  people 
and  in  developing  the  business  interests  of  the  county. 



The  first  bank  in  Audubon  county  was  organized  by  Franklin  H.  Whit- 
ney (of  Atlantic,  Iowa),  and  Charles  Van  Gorder,  at  Exira,  in  July,  1S76, 
and  was  called  the  Audubon  County  Bank.  It  had  a  capital  of  one  thous- 
and dollars.  Whitney  was  president  and  Van  Gorder,  cashier.  About  1882 
it  was  sold  to  Louis  E.  Brown  and  Erwin  Watson,  who  changed  the  name 
to  the  Bank  of  Exira.  They  closed  out  its  business  by  an  assignment  for 
the  benefit  of  creditors  about  1888.  In  1878  Whitney  and  Van  Gorder 
started  a  branch  of  the  Audubon  County  Bank  at  Audubon,  from  which 
Mr.  Whitney  retired  about  1884-5  and  Mr.  Van  Gorder  became  sole  pro- 
prietor. It  was  succeeded  in  1893  by  the  First  National  Bank  of  Audubon 
— Charles  Van  Gorder,  president;  Frank  S.  Watts,  cashier — which  has 
continued  until  the  present  time.  The  present  of^cers  are :  E.  S.  Van 
Gorder,  president;  Frank  S.  W^atts,  cashier. 

The  Citizens  Bank  of  Audubon  was  incorporated  in  1881,  by  Nathan- 
iel Hamlin,  William  Walker,  A.  L.  Campbell,  Frank  P.  Bradley,  John  M. 
Griggs,  William  F.  Stotts  and  Joseph  L.  Stotts,  and  was  sold  in  1884  to 
Ethelbert  J.  Freeman  and  Andrew  F.  Armstrong.  It  passed  out  of  exist- 
ence in  1893  ^^y  ^1^  assignment  for  the  benefit  of  creditors. 

About  1883,  William  Leet  founded  the  Commercial  Bank  at  Audubon, 
which  continued,  with  various  cashiers,  until  191  o,  when  it  was  bought  and 
merged  in  the  First  National  Bank  of  Audubon. 

On  February  5,  1889,  Charles  Van  Gorder,  as  president,  and  John 
Gray,  as  cashier,  started  the  Exchange  Bank  of  Exira.  Mr.  Gray  retired 
from  the  firm,  since  which  Mr.  Van  Gorder  has  been  sole  proprietor,  with 
Edwin  Delahoyde  as  cashier. 

The  Farmer's  Exchange  Bank  was  established  at  Gray,  Iowa,  about 
1893  by  George  P.  Wiley,  who  sold  it  to  Mr.  Creglow  about  1897.  ^^  was 
conducted  by  William  Linderman,  cashier.  About  1900  it  was  sold  to  Leet 
&  Boysen,  of  Audubon,  and  was  conducted  by  Ed  Beason  as  cashier;  after- 
wards by  John  E.  McGuire,  cashier,  and,  later,  by  Ed  C.  Rice,  cashier. 
About  1907  it  was  sold  to  Lida  L.  and  Helen  Leet,  and  conducted  l)y  Ed 
C.  Rice,  cashier.     On  January  i,  19 12,  it  was  incorporated  as  the  Farmer's 


Savings  Bank,  of  Gray,  and  has  since  been  conducted  by  Ed.  C.  Rice, 

In  1893-4,  Lois  G.  Stuart  founded  the  Corn  Exchange  Bank  at  Audu- 
bon, which  continued,  with  various  cashiers,  until  1907,  when  it  was  bought 
and  merged  in  the  First  National  Bank  of  Audubon. 

In  1894  Lois  G.  Stuart  organized  the  Stuart  Bank  at  Exira  with  P.  M. 
Christensen  as  cashier.  It  was  sold  and  was  succeeded  by  the  First 
National  Bank  of  Exira,  which  was  incorporated  on  July  7,  1903,  and 
which  still  continues  the  business.     James  M.  Carlson  is  cashier. 

In  1895  James  E.  Bruce,  of  Atlantic,  Iowa,  established  the  Bank  of 
Brayton.  at  Brayton,  with  Walter  Falkner  as  cashier.  It  was  sold  in  1897 
to  Pollock  Brothers,  Henry  Pollock,  cashier.  In  1900  it  was  sold  to  Charles 
Van  Gorder,  John  McDaniels  and  Edwin  Delahoyde,  with  L.  F.  Miller  as 
assistant  cashier  and  manager.  It  was  succeeded  by  the  Brayton  Savings 
Bank,  which  was  incorporated  in  19 13,  with  L.  F.  Miller,  as  cashier,  and 
which  still  continues  in  business. 

In  1907  Emil  Bilharz  organized  the  Farmer's  State  Bank  at  Audubon, 
which  still  continues  in  business. 

On  September  3,  1907.  the  Landsman's  Bank  was  founded  at  Kim- 
ballton,  with  Charles  Van  Gorder,  president,  and  Hans  Madsen,  cashier. 
It  was  incorporated  on  December  27,  1907,  as  the  Landsman  National 
Bank,  with  Hans  Hadsen,  president,  and  Alma  Madsen,  cashier. 

On  October  25,  1907,  the  Danish  Savings  Bank  was  incorporated  at 
Kimballton.  with  S.  C.  Pedersen,  president,  and  Peter  Lykke,  cashier.  The 
present  cashier  is  Math  Nissager. 

The  Farmer's  Sa^'ings  Bank  was  incorporated  at  Hamlin  Station  in 
1913.     L.  C.  Christoffersen  is  cashier. 



By   Jeannie   Pendleton   Ewing. 

Clear-eyed  and  prim,  with  walls  of  white 

Among  the  leaves  of  birch 
That  tinged  but  did  not  stem  the  light, 

Nestled  the  little  church, 
'All  summer  open  to  the  air 
And  all  that  green  a-quiver  there. 

About  were  tender,  dreamy  sounds: 

The  stamp  of  horses'  feet, 
The  mumbling  bees  upon  their  rounds 

Where  clover  nodded  sweet, 
A  piping  quail — the  grain  low-bent 
Showed  where  her  furtive  flutterings  went. 

Next  father  in  the  i)ew's  long  row 

Came  urchins  sternly  shod; 
Next  mother — for  she  planned  it  so — 

The  child  who  first  would  nod, 
Laying,  when  sermon-time  oppressed, 
His  poppy  cheek  upon  her  breast. 

Bare  stretched  your  aisle  and  long  your  hour 

To  many  a  childish  wight. 
Wee  church !  yet,  rich  in  holy  power, 

You  blessed  as  angels  might. 
Long  years  have  gone — our  faith  is  true: 
Long  years  we've  prayed,  because  of  you ! 

By    Alexander   Holt   Roberts. 

Justinian,  the  Roman  lawyer,  in  defining  the  highest  duty  of  man  to 
man.  said,  "The  perfection  of  human  duty  is,  to  do  good  to  all  men;  injure 
none;  and  to  render  to  every  man  his  just  dues."  Confucius,  the  great 
Chinese  philosopher,  expressed  a  similar  thought  in  a  different  form,  when 
he  enjoined  upon  his  followers  the  following  negative  rule,  "Whatsoever  ye 
would  not  that  others  should  do  unto  you,  that  do  ye  not  unto  them."  These 
are  both  good  in  so  far  as  they  go,  but  it  remained  for  a  young  Hebrew, 


whose  spotless  life,  teachings  and  character  gained  for  him,  among  his  fol- 
lowers, the  name  "Divine  Lawgiver,"  and  who  was  the  original  of  the  Chris- 
tian religion,  to  give  affirmative  expression  to  the  great  law  of  human  action 
in  a  form  now  called  by  all  men,  the  Golden  Rule,  "Whatsoever  ye  would 
that  others  should  do  unto  you,  do  ye  even  so  to  them,"  and  then  that  other 
great  commandment,  "Thou  shalt  love  the  Lord  thy  God  with  all  thy  heart" 
and  "thy  neighbor  as  thyself."  Each  has  his  adherents,  and  fortunate  indeed 
were  the  American  people  to  have  such  ancestors  as  the  Pilgrim  Fathers, 
who,  upon  Plymouth  Rock,  acknowledged  their  thankfulness,  and  allegiance 
to  Almighty  God. 

As  civilization  marched  westward,  in  the  front  ranks  of  the  pioneers 
have  always  been  found  the  followers  of  the  "Man  of  Galilee,"  and  it  is  not 
surpassing  strange  that  so  early  in  the  life  of  our  county  we  find,  assembled 
in  a  log  cabin,  those  who  were  desirous  of  clearing  the  w^ay,  and  casting  up  a 
highway  for  the  Master's  army  to  pass  over  in  coming  years. 

The  presence,  or  absence,  of  churches  in  a  community  is  of  great  signifi- 
cance, and  reveals  at  once  to  the  observer  the  general  character  and  makeup 
of  its  people,  for  the  highest  civilization  is  only  to  be  found  where  church 
spires  abound. 

To  those  pioneer  men  and  women  of  God,  those  first  sowers,  preachers 
and  teachers  of  the  Word,  we  acknowledge  our  obligation  and  cherish  their 
memory.  We  regret  that,  after  the  lapse  of  sixty  years,  one  who  endeavors 
to  record  their  deeds  finds  himself  handicapped  for  want  of  records. 

Our  state  has  such  a  complete  system  of  records,  that  the  writer  of  civil 
history  has  little  difficulty  in  ascertaining  and  establishing  certain  facts, 
whereas,  the  records  of  the  average  church  are  so  meager,  and  so  little  effort 
is  made  to  preserve  what  they  do  have,  that  the  historian  is  compelld  to 
search  for  oral  testimony  where  he  may  find  it.  And  so,  in  this  way,  we  find 
that  in  1855  Rev.  Moses  F.  Shinn,  presiding  elder  of  Council  Bluffs  district 
in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  delegated  Rev.  James  S.  Rand,  a  Meth- 
odist, to  organize  the  work  in  Audubon  county.  Hence  we  find  Reverend 
Rand,  in  the  first  week  in  June,  1855,  preaching  in  the  first  public  religious 
service  held  in  the  county,  in  the  pioneer  cabin  of  Walter  J.  Jardine,  on 
section  28,  now  Exira  township.  After  the  service  he  organized  a  Methodist 
class,  with  Walter  J.  Jardine,  as  class  leader  and  William  H.  H.  Bowen  as 
steward.  The  following  were  enrolled  as  members :  W.  H.  H.  Bowen  and 
wife,  Eliza;  Walter  J.  Jardine  and  wife,  Jane;  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis  and  wife, 
Mary  J.;  Thomas  S.  Lewis  and  wife,  Josephine  B. ;  Richard  M.  Lewis  and 
wife,  Elizabeth:  Mrs.  Sarah  G.  Lewis;  Mrs.  Miles  Beers;  Emily  J.  Beers. 

1 88  AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA. 

Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis,  to  whom  we  are  indebted,  and  to  whom  we  extend 
thanks,  for  this  information,  is  the  only  Hving  member  (1915)  of  that  first 
class,  the  others  having  all  been  "gathered  to  their  fathers." 

At  variance  with  this,  is  "A  History  of  Audubon  County,"  published 
by  W.  S.  Dunbar  &  Company,  Chicago,  in  1889,  its  editor  being  anonymous, 
which  says:  "A  Rev.  Mr.  Mann  came  to  the  county  as  early  as  1854  and  first 
sowed  the  seeds  of  Methodism.  He  gathered  a  few  of  that  faith  together 
at  the  home  of  William  H.  H.  Bowen,  one  mile  southwest  of  Hamlin's 
Grove.  Later  on.  quite  a  number  of  Methodists  settled  about  Exira  and  a 
class  was  duly  organized  at  the  home  of  Levi  Montgomer}^  near  the  present 
plat.  Rev.  James  Rand  was  the  first  preacher,  coming  in  1856-57.  The 
names  of  those  forming  this  first  class,  which  was  also  the  first  in  Audubon 
county,  are  as  follows:    Levi  Montgomery  and  wife,"  etc. 

This  "history"  is  undoubtedly  in  error,  as  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis,  who  still 
lives  on  the  old  place  south  of  Exira  (his  postoffice  is  Brayton),  insists  that 
Rev.  Mr.  Rand  Avas  the  first  preacher,  and  it  appears  reasonable  that  a  mis- 
take may  have  been  made,  as  the  sound  of  the  names  "Mann"  and  "Rand" 
are  so  similar,  that  evidently  the  party  who  gave  the  information  as  to  Mr. 
"Mann,"  had  forgotten  the  real  name,  or  the  reporter  to  whom  the  informa- 
tion was  given  misunderstood  the  name. 

This  view  of  the  case  is  further  supported  by  the  fact  that  the  records 
of  the  Iowa  conference,  which  had  jurisdiction  over  all  Iowa  at  that  time, 
did  not  contain  the  name  "Mann"  at  that  time. 

This,  without  reasonable  doubt,  establishes  the  fact  that  the  minister 
referred  to  was  Rand,  as  he  had  charge  of  the  Cass  mission  at  that  time. 

The  first  quarterly  meeting  was  convened  in  the  first  w^eek  in  September, 
1855,  in  the  grove  at  Mr.  Jardine's  place  (section  28),  and  was  presided  over 
by  Reverend  Shinn,  I.  V.  D.  Lewis  being  elected  recording  steward.  The 
residence  of  Peter  Sylvester  now-  stands  upon  the  very  ground  on  which  those 
meetings  were  held. 

Later,  a  class  was  formed  at  Exira,  and  one  at  Oakfield,  with  Richard 
M.  Lewis  as  leader.     This  class  became  obsolete  many  years  ago. 

The  work  continued,  under  direction  of  those  in  charge,  taking  up  new 
points  and  forming  new  classes  as  opportunities  presented,  until  about  1870, 
when  the  Exira  circuit  was  formed,  which  continued  to  cover  the  whole  field 
of  the  county  until  the  annual  conference  of  1875,  when  Exira  circuit  was 
divided  into  two  separate  works  in  regard  to  preaching,  but  left  united  with 
regard  to  quarterly  meetings.  Rev.  E.  M.  H.  Fleming  Avas  presiding  elder; 
Rev.  W.  T.  Reed,  pastor  for  Exira  circuit,  and  Rev.  J.  M.  Bay,  pastor  for 
Hamlin  circuit. 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  1 89 

At  the  first  quarterly  meeting  held  at  Luccock's  Grove,  November  13, 
1875,  Joseph  McFadden,  H.  K.  Emory,  D.  E.  Rich,  W.  C.  Luccock  and  F.  A. 
Cobb  represented  Hamlin  circuit,  Exira  circuit  not  being  represented.  The 
pastor's  salary  for  Exira  circuit  was  fixed  at  $240,  apportioned  as  follows : 
Exira,  $110;  Louisville,  $45;  Grove,  $40;  Oakfield,  $25,  and  Thomas  Grove, 
$20.  The  salary  for  Hamlin  circuit  was  placed  at  $200  and  apportioned, 
Hamlin,  $65 ;  Luccock's  Grove,  $65 ;  Sanborn,  $40,  and  Graham,  $30. 

The  next  quarterly  conference  met  at  Exira,  January  22;  1876,  with  T. 
A.  Lampman,  presiding  elder.  A  class  of  ten  was  reported  organized  at  the 
Green  school  house. 

At  the  next  quarterly  conference,  held  April  28,  1876,  at  Hamlin,  E. 
Weaver  was  elected  steward  and  two  new  points  were  added,  Earhart's  and 
Diggs'.     Charles  Walker  was  recommended  for  license  to  preach. 

In  1877  we  find  Rev.  John  Histwod  as  presiding  elder,  Rev.  G.  H.  Det- 
wiler,  pastor,  and  the  following  classes  represented :  Hamlin,  Miller's,  San- 
born's, Diggs',  Graham's,  Earhart's,  Viola  and  Baker's.  The  following  official 
members  were  in  attendance :  Charles  Walker,  P.  McKinley,  E.  S.  Weaver, 
F.  A.  Cobb,  C.  H-  Earhart  J.  C.  Bonwell,  L.  Miller,  William  Wilde,  S.  D. 
Conrod,  H.  C.  Diggs,  W.  S.  Smyth,  A.  Dixon,  J.  W.  Brackney.  Auntie 
Meek,  C.  H.  Sampson,  Aaron  Eby,  George  Eby,  C.  H.  Cross,  J.  T.  Bell, 
A.  Hollenbeck,  William  McAfee,  D.  C.  Bartshe. 

Up  to  this  time,  aside  from  the  Methodists,  these  were  but  two  other 
denominations  holding  services  in  the  county,  the  Congregationalists  and 
Christians,  both  at  Exira.  'Up  to  1877  there  had  been  but  two  church 
buildings  in  the  county,  to  wit,  the  Congregational  church,  in  Exira,  and  the 
Methodist  church,  in  Exira,  the  religious  services  at  all  other  points  having 
been  held  in  school  houses  or  in  the  homes  of  some  of  the  members. 

About  this  time,  with  a  large  influx  of  settlers  and  immigrants,  the 
various  preaching  points  took  on  new  life  and  pretensions,  and  this  was 
especially  true  in  1878  with  the  incoming  of  the  Chicago,  Rock  Island  & 
Pacific  railroad,  and  for  some  years  following,  so  that  we  will  now  take  up 
the  individual  churches  of  the  various  denominations.  But,  before  doing 
so,  we  wish  to  record  two  especial  events  affecting  the  religious  life  of  the 
county.  These  were  the  revival  meetings  held  by  Rev.  W.  A.  Sunday  in 
Exira  and  Audubon. 


The  meetings  at  Exira  were  held  in  September,  1901,  and  the  following 
comments  upon  these  meetings  appeared  in  the  Audubon  County  Journal, 
published  at  Exira : 


"big    CROWDS    AT    THE    TABERNACLE. 

"Never  in  the  history  of  Exira  has  the  attendance  and  interest  been  so 
great  as  in  the  union  meetings  now  in  progress  at  the  tabernacle  in  the  park, 
conducted  by  Rev.  W.  A.  Sunday.  Each  evening  the  large  crowd  begins  to 
assemble  early,  and  by  the  time  the  song  service  ends  every  seat  is  taken.  *  *  * 

"The  principal  and,  we  might  say,  the  only  subject  among  all  classes 
of  people  is  the  meetings  now  being  held  in  the  tabernacle  in  the  park,  and  the 
marvelous  results  that  have  been  achieved  and  the  potent  influences  for  good 
that  have  been  accomplished.  *  *  *  "Yhe  men's  meeting,  Sunday  after- 
noon, presented  a  scene  that  words  cannot  express  and  the  seed  sown  at  the 
meeting  will,  in  years  to  come,  show  itself  in  the  lives  of  those  present. 
Twenty-nine  men,  in  the  prime  of  youth  and  noble  manhood,  went  forward 
and  turned  their  backs  upon  sin  and  worldly  amusements.     *     *     '-^ 

"Sunday  evening  closed  the  meetings  that  have  been  in  progress  for  the 
past  three  weeks  in  the  tabernacle  in  the  park,  and  Rev.  W.  A.  Sunday 
departed  for  his  home  in  Chicago  on  the  Monday  noon  train. 

"As  a  result  of  the  meetings,  two  hundred  and  sixty  people  were  con- 
verted and  will  at  once  unite  with  the  church  of  their  choice.  The  greater 
part  of  the  work  has  been  accomplished  during  the  past  week.  No  one  pre- 
dicted such  a  complete  and  overwhelming  victory  for  the  united  efforts  of  the 
various  churches  of  the  town. 

"At  the  closing  service,  Sunday  night,  over  one  thousand  people  were 
present  to  listen  with  marked  attention  to  the  matchless  elocjuence,  and  his 
fearless  and  forceful,  logical  and  consistent  argument.  At  the  close  of  the 
last  service,  when  the  invitation  to  come  forward  was"  given,  forty-eight 
people  went  forward. 

"A  free  will  offering  was  taken  at  the  Sunday  service,  to  remunerate 
Mr.  Sunday  for  his  tireless  efforts,  which  amounted  to  eight  hundred  and 
seventy-three  dollars,  being  one  of  the  largest  collections  ever  taken  to  sup- 
port him  in  his  laudable  and  commendable  work. 

"No  one  who  has  listened  to  his  burning  words  of  truth  has  any  fault 
to  find  with  his  methods,  and  heartily  endorse  his  work;  and  no  one  can 
tell  the  appreciation  as  expressed  by  the  general  public  for  the  valuable 
services  he  has  rendered  this  community  by  teaching  the  higher  and  noble 
virtues  in  the  various  walks  of  life's  duties. 

"At  least  two  hundred  were  at  the  depot.  Monday  noon,  to  bid  Mr. 
Sunday  and  his  singer,  Mr.  Fisher,  goodbye.  A  chorus  of  voices  sang  song 
after  song,  and  as  the  train  pulled  out  the  crowd  sang,  'God  be  With  You 


Till  We  Meet  Again.'  Mr.  Sunday  will  ever  be  held  dear  to  the  people  of 
Exira  and  the  many  warm  friends  here  will  fondly  cherish  the  memory  of 
him  who  worked  so  hard  for  their  joy  and  comfort,  and  for  the  eternal 
peace  and  happiness  of  their  homes." 

While  the  meetings  were  in  progress  in  Exira,  a  committee  went  from 
Audubon  to  Exira  and  arranged  with  Mr.  Sunday  for  a  series  of  meetings 
in  Audubon. 

Satisfactory  arrangements  having  been  made,  on  January  21,  1902,  Mr. 
Sunday  and  helpers  arrived  and  began  what  proved  to  be  the  greatest  meet- 
ing ever  held  in  the  town,  four  churches,  the  Methodist,  Presbyterian,  Chris- 
tian and  Evangelical,  uniting  and  becoming  responsible  for  the  financial  part 
of  the  meetings. 

The  following  quotations  from  The  Audubon  Advocate  express  the 
sentiment  of  the  community  with  reference  to  the  meetings. 

"the  revival. 

"When  we  say  revival,  we  have  no  fear  of  contradiction,  for  it  is  really 
and  truly  a  revival.  Evangelist  Sunday  has  been  at  work  in  our  midst  a 
little  over  two  weeks,  and  the  old  town  is  not  what  it  used  to  be.  We  have 
seen  some  pretty  warm  political  campaigns  in  Audubon,  but  the  present 
religious  campaign  makes  all  those  very  tame  indeed.  Sunday's  meetings  are 
talked  on  the  streets  and  in  every  place  of  business.  It  is  the  main,  and 
almost  the  only,  topic  of  conversation.  Snow  drifts  and  cold  weather  are  no 
obstacles  when  people  are  headed  toward  the  great  revival.  The  interest  is 
daily  increasing.  Many  who  but  seldom  if  every  are  seen  at  church,  are 
now  regular  attendants  and  many  have  gone  forward.  Many  who  bitterly 
opposed  Evangelist  Sunday,  or  scoffed  at  his  work,  are  now  his  most  ardent 
supporters,  and  are  seen  on  the  streets,  as  well  as  in  the  meetings,  urging 
others  to  attend  and  unite  with  the  many  who  have  gone  forward.     *     *     *" 

"The  Union  gospel  meetings,  which  have  interested  the  people  of  Audu- 
bon for  the  past  two  months,  are  now  closed,  and  a  matter  of  history.  They 
began  on  January  21  and  closed  on  Februan^  16.  From  the  very  start,  they 
were  largely  attended,  filling  the  large  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  and 
later,  when  they  were  removed,  the  larger  Presbyterian  church  was  crowded. 
The  men's  meetings  were  the  marvel  of  the  series.  There  were  three  of 
them,  and  the  attendance  w^as  about  seven  hundred  at  the  first  to  nine  hun- 
dred at  the  last.  Such  a  concourse  of  men  was  something  new"  to  Audubon. 
A  sight  such  as  many  a  person  never  saw  before.  All  this  is  evidence  of 
the  power  of  the  subject  of  religion  on  the  hearts  and  minds  of  men. 


"There  is  no  other  subject  that  the  greatest  men  might  discuss,  with 
the  best  skill  of  modern  learning  and  oratory,  that  would  have  drawn  and 
held  one-tenth  of  the  people  one-half  so  long  as  the  subject  of  re- 
ligion.    *     *     * 

"The  last  Sabbath  services  were  interesting  throughout,  when  one  thou- 
sand five  hundred  and  forty-one  dollars  were  given  as  a  free-will  offering 
to  Mr.  Sunday.  Also  a  purse  of  thirty-four  dollars  to  Fred  Fisher,  his 
singer,  from  the  choir. 

"The  total  number  of  conversions  was  four  hundred  and  thirty-four. 
The  attendance  Sabbath  evening  was  fully  one  thousand  three  hundred  and 
many  were  turned  away  for  want  of  room." 

Thus,  by  these  meetings  were  all  of  the  churches  strengthened,  their 
membership  increased,  the  moral  tone  of  the  whole  county  elevated,  and 
among  the  strong  and  active  workers  and  supporters  of  the  churches  today, 
many  date  their  interest  and  consecration  to  the  work  from  the  time  of  the 
Sunday  meetings. 


About  the  year  1858,  Deacon  Lyman  Bush  came  to  Exira  from  North 
Brookfield,  Massachusetts.  On  April  9,  1859,  the  First  Congregational 
church  of  Exira  was  organized,  and  at  about  the  same  time  a  Sunday  school 
was  organized  at  Exira  by  Deacon  Bush.  The  remainder  of  Deacon  Bush's 
life  was  principally  devoted  to  the  advancement  of  this  church,  holding 
Sunday  meetings  and  preaching  when  obtainable,  prayer  meetings,  Sunday 
schools,  funerals,  looking  after  the  employment  of  preachers  and  raising 
subscriptions  to  pay  them. 

Preaching  and  Sunday  schools  were  usually  held  in  the  old  school 
house,  and  prayer  meetings  often  in  private  houses.  About  1870  the  dea- 
con visited  his  old  home  in  Massachusetts  and,  while  there,  collected  from 
his  old  neighbors  and  friends  more  than  one  thousand  dollars  for  a  church 
building  at  Exira.  The  building,  thirty-two  by  forty  feet,  was  erected  in 
1870-71,  John  W.  Dodge  and  H.  U.  Hansen  being  the  principal  carpenters 
and  builders.  The  church  was  reorganized  on  May  10,  1871.  The  church 
edifice  was  dedicated  on  July  16,  1871,  Revs.  J.  W.  Pickett,  C.  D.  Wright 
and  John  F.  Taft  being  the  officiating  clergymen. 

This  was  the  first  church  edifice  in  the  county  and  is  still  occupied  by 
the  church.     The  first  resident  pastor  was  Oren  Cummings. 

At  the  death  of  Deacon  Bush  he  left  one  thousand  dollars  as  a  perma- 

AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA.  1 93 

nent  fund,  the  interest  of  which,  only,  was  to  be  devoted  perpetually  to  sup- 
port the  ministry,  and  this  fund  is  now  intact.  The  present  membership 
is  about  seventy- four. 

•  The  deacons  have  been  Lyman  Bush,  Boynton  G.  Dodge,  Enoch  Croy, 
David  Sewell,  William  C.  Sturgeon,  John  D.  Bush,  Henry  Seibert,  Louis 
E.  Borne,  William  Wissler  and  Frank  Heath.  The  church  has  been  faith- 
fully served  by  the  following  pastors :  Oren  Cummings,  E.  S.  Hill,  C.  D. 
Wright,  John  S.  Taft,  A.  J.  R.  Smith,  R.  W.  Burgess,  J.  M.  Cummings, 
J.  A.  Hallock,  A.  W.  Thompson,  D.  M.  Hartsough,  Q.  C.  Todd,  A.  M. 
Beman,  Joseph  F.  Roberts,  M.  D.  Reed,  H.  L.  Wissler,  E.  H.  Votard, 
W.  W.  Hartsough,  J.  L.  Fisher,  F.  H.  Richardson,  W.  L.  Holly,  James 
H.  Mintier,  Noah  A.  Hollingshead,  and  Rev.  Jessie  Gettys,  who  is  the  pres- 
ent pastor. 

Today  this  is  the  only  Congregational  church  in  the  county. 


About  1866-8  a  Congregational  church  was  organized  at  Oakfield,  Exira 
township.  The  following  were  members  of  this  church:  E.  W.  Pearl  and 
wife,  William  C.  Norton,  James  M.  Jones  and  wife,  Herman  G.  Smith, 
Marianne  Smith,  Joe  Barham  and  wife,  John  C.   Norton. 

This  church  was  supplied  by  Rev.  Edwin  S.  Hill,  from  Grove  City, 
and  Rev.  C.  D.  Wright,  from  Exira.     This  church  is  now  extinct. 


The  birth  of  the  Methodist  church  in  Exira  properly  dates  from  the 
organization  of  the  Levi  B.  Montgomery  class  in  1855.  The  members  of 
that  class  were  Levi  B.  Montgomery  and  wife,  George  W.  Sharp  and  wife, 
Nathaniel  Wiggins  and  wife,  Mrs.  Mary  Anderson,  Mrs.  Ann  Crane,  with 
Rev.  J.  S.  Rand  as  first  pastor. 

At  the  twelfth  annual  session  of  the  Iowa  Methodist  Episcopal  Con- 
ference, in  September,  1855,  Exira  was  included  in  the  Cass  mission,  Coun- 
cil Bluffs  district,  and  Rev.  Rand  was  again  appointed  pastor  and  seventy- 
five  dollars  appropriated  from  the  missionary  funds  of  the  conference  toward 
his  support. 

At  the  conference  in  September,  1856,  Audubon  and  Shelby  counties 
were  united,  under  the  name  of  Audubon  and   Shelby  mission,   and  Rev. 


194  AUDUBON    COUNTY_,    IOWA. 

J.  M.  Baker  appointed  pastor,  with  seventy  dollars  from  the  conference 
missionary  funds  toward  his  salary. 

In  1857  Audubon  mission  stood  alone,  with  Rev.  J.  M.  Baker  again  as 
pastor,  who,  at  the  end  of  the  year,  reported  sixty  members  and  thirteen 
probationers.  Also  one  Sunday  school,  with  five  officers  and  teachers  and 
twenty  scholars.     This  was  the  first  Sunday  school  in  the  county. 

At  the  conference  in  September,  1858,  Audubon  and  Lewis  were  united, 
under  the  name  of  Lewis  and  Audubon  mission,  and  fifty  dollars  appro- 
priated from  the  mission  funds  to  apply  on  the  salary  of  Rev.  J.  M.  Rust, 
who  was  appointed  pastor,  with  residence  at  Exira.  At  the  end  of  the  year 
Rev.  Rust  reported  sixty  members  and  ten  probationers,  one  church  build- 
ing, four  Sunday  schools,  twenty-four  officers  and  teachers  and  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  scholars. 

At  this  time  the  development  of  the  country  had  become  so  rapid,  the 
trail  of  the  Indian  having  given  place  to  the  steel  rails  of  the  railroad  now 
pointing  to  the  Missouri  river;  the  hunting  grounds  having  become  fields 
of  waving  grain;  the  tepee  and  Indian  village  being  supplanted  by  com- 
fortable homes  and  thriving  towns;  the  population  becoming  more  dense, 
and  the  territory  of  the  conference  being  so  great,  consisting  of  all  of  Iowa, 
all  settled  portions  of  Nebraska  and  part  of  Missouri;  that  at  the  sixteenth 
session  of  the  Iowa  annual  conference  at  ]\Iuscatine,  held  in  September, 
1859,  it  was  deemed  the  wise  thing  to  divide  the  conference,  and  the  West- 
ern Iowa  conference  was  organized.  Audubon  county  was  included  in  the 
Audubon  and  Lewis  mission,  Council  Bluffs  district,  and  Rev.  D.  B.  Clary 
was  appointed  pastor,  with  residence  at  Exira.  At  the  end  of  the  year  Rev. 
Clary  reported  eighty-seven  members  and  fourteen  probationers,  five  Sun- 
day schools,  with  two  hundred  and  two  members. 

In  September,  i860,  at  the  first  session  of  the  Western  Iowa  confer- 
ence. Rev.  C.  F.  Spooner  was  appointed  to  the  Lewis  and  Audubon  mission, 
and^  at  the  end  of  the  year  reported  ninety-eight  members,  forty  probationers 
and  four  Sunday  schools,  with  one  hundred  and  sixty  members. 

At  the  annual  conference  in  September,  1861,  a  new  district  was  formed, 
called  the  Lewis  district.  Lewis  was  detached  from  Audubon  and  made  a 
station.  Audubon  was  called  Audubon  mission,  Lewis  district,  and  Rev. 
C.  F.  Spooner  was  appointed  as  pastor,  with  sixty-two  dollars  and  fifty 
cents  appropriated  from  the  mission  funds  to  apply  to  his  support.  At  the 
end  of  the  year,  Reverend  Spooner  reported  seventy-six  members  and  seven 
probationers,  two  Sunday  schools,  with  seventy-nine  members. 

In    September,    1862,    Rev.    S.    W.    Milligan   was   appointed   pastor   to 


Audubon  mission,  with  sixty-five  dollars  appropriated  from  the  Mission 
funds.  He  reported  sixty-seven  members  and  nine  probationers,  three  Sun- 
day schools,  with  ninety-eight  members. 

In  September,  1863,  Audubon  and  Lewis  were  again  joined  as  Audu- 
bon and  Lewis  circuit,  and  Rev.  S.  W.  Milligan  was  appointed  pastor.  The 
circuit  was  then  composed  of  the  following  classes :  Lewis,  Grove  City, 
Middle  Grove,  Audubon  (city),  Exira,  Oakfield  and  Buck  Creek,  including 
one  hundred  and  three  members,  thirteen  probationers  and  four  Sunday 
schools,  with  one  hundred  and  eighty-two  members. 

In  September,  1864,  the  name  Western  Iowa  annual  conference  was 
changed  to  Des  Moines  annual  conference,  and  a  new  district  formed,  called 
Wintust  district,  of  which  the  Lewis  and  Audubon  circuit  was  a  part,  with 
Rev.  N.  L.  Phillips  as  pastor.  At  the  end  of  the  year.  Rev.  Phillips  reported 
one  hundred  and  five  members,  twenty-one  probationers  and  four  Sunday 
schools,  with  one  hundred  and  forty-four  members. 

In  September,  1865,  Rev.  John  G.  Gates  was  appointed  pastor  and 
reported  one  hundred  and  thirty-one  members,  fifty  probationers  and  seven 
Sunday  schools  with  two  hundred  and  thirty  members. 

In  September,  1866,  M.  Sheets  was  appointed  pastor  and  reported  two 
hundred  and  eight  members,  fifty-one  probationers  and  eight  Sunday  schools 
with  three  hundred  and  fifteen  members. 

During  the  years  1867-8-9  the  circuit  was  known  as  the  Grove  City 
circuit  and  was  composed  of  the  following  classes:  Grove  City,  Audubon 
City,  Exira  and  Oakfield,  with  the  following  pastors :  Rev.  William  Abra- 
ham, in  1867;  Rev.  W.  H.  Records,  in  1868,  and  Rev.  Jacob  Levan,  in  1869. 

In  1870  the  name  of  the  circuit  was  changed  to  Exira,  Atlantic  dis- 
trict, and  included  all  of  Audubon  county  and  some  points  in  Cass.  Prior 
to  this  time,  services  had  been  held  in  private  homes  or  the  school  house. 
From  1870  to  1873  they  were  kindly  permitted  to  use  the  new  Congrega- 
tional church  at  Exira.  The  pastors  were  Rev.  J.  G.  Gates,  1870-71,  and 
Rev.  George  W.  Saint,  1872. 

Reverend  Saint  died  just  after  the  fourth  quarterly  meeting  and  just 
before  the  annual  conference.  Then  came  Rev.  George  W.  Gauffer  in  1873. 
During  this  year  a  church  edifice  twenty-four  by  thirty-two  was  erected  on 
the  site  where  Squire  James  P.  Lair  now  resides.  This  was  the  second 
church  building  in  the  coiinty,  the  other  being  the  Congregational  church 
in  Exira.  Rev.  B.  L.  Jackson  (supplied)  in  1874,  and  Rev.  W.  T.  Reid 
served  in  1875. 

In   1875  Exira  circuit  was  divided  and  a  new  circuit,  called  Hamlin, 


formed,  embracing  the  north  nine  townships  of  Audubon  county.  Rev.  John 
W.  Hardin  came  in  1876;  Rev.  W.  R.  Douglas,  in  1877;  Rev.  O.  E.  Moore, 
in  1878;  Rev.  C.  H.  Mcintosh  supphed  in  1879;  Rev.  D.  C.  Adams  supphed 
in  1880;  Rev.  J.  W.  Bott  was  pastor  in  1881  and  1882. 

In  1881,  the  church  not  being  large  enough  to  accommodate  the  grow- 
ing congregation,  plans  were  laid  and  steps  taken,  money  solicited,  and  a 
new  building,  of  larger  proportions,  was  erected  and  dedicated  by  the  presid- 
ing elder,  Rev.  W.  T.  Smith,  on  January  22,  1882. 

The  next  pastor  was  Rev.  W.  W.  Dauner  in  1883,  after  whom  followed 
Rev.  F.  T.  Stevenson,  1884-5;  L.  C.  Burling,  1886-7;  R.  T.  Leary,  1888; 
A.  B.  Shipman,  1889;  J.  S.  Morrow,  1890;  D.  H.  K.  Dix,  1891-92;  Rev.  W. 
J.  Richards,  1893;  Rev.  C.  H.  Miller,  1894;  Rev.  L.  H.  Humphey,  1895  and 
1896;  Rev.  O.  T.  Nichols,  1897  and  1898;  Rev.  R.  C.  F.  Chambers,  1899; 
Rev.  J.  M.  Whitehead,  1900;  Rev.  J.  E.  Nichol,  1901  and  1902;  Rev.  E.  C 
Holliday,  1903;  Rev.  T.  G.  Aten,  1904;  Rev.  A.  Dove,  1905;  Rev.  J.  A. 
Howard,  1906;  Rev.  E.  W.  Bates,  1907;  Rev.  W.  E.  Harvey,  1908;  Rev. 
John  Harned,  1909-1910-1911  ;  Rev.  George  A.  Lawton,  1912;  Rev.  Henry 
P.  Grinyer,  1913-14,  who  is  the  present  pastor. 

The  present  membership  is  about  forty.  The  church  maintains  a  flour- 
ishing Sunday  school  and  a  splendid  Ep worth  League. 

Since  1896,  the  Hamlin  class  has  been  affiliated  with  this  charge,  and 
at  present  Buck  Creek  class  is  also  a  part  of  the  work. 


A  class  was  formed  in  about  1856-7  at  Oakfield,  with  Richard  M.  Lewis 
as  leader,  and  was  a  part  of  the  Audubon  and  Lewis  circuit.  This  class  is 
now  extinct. 

Audubon  and  Lewis  circuit,  in  1864,  was  composed  of  the  following 
classes:  Lewis,  Grove  City,  Middle  Grove,  Audubon  City  (in  section  25, 
Exira  township),  Exira,  Oakfield  and  Buck  Creek,  and  at  other  times  the 
preaching  points  changed. 


In  giving  a  history  of  this  church  we  find  that  we  cannot  do  better 
than  copy  a  historical  sketch  written  by  A.  H.  Roberts  and  read  at  an 
anniversary  meeting  of  the  church  held  in  December,  1913.     It  is  as  follows: 

"At  the  meeting  of  the  Des  Moines  conference  in  1875,  Exira  circuit 
was  divided  and  a  new  circuit  formed  named  Hamlin,  and  including  all  of 


Audubon  county  north  of  Exira.  Rev.  J.  M.  Bay  was  sent  as  pastor  and, 
at  a  salary  of  two  hundred  dollars,  served  one  year.  Then  came  Rev.  G.  H. 
Detwiler,  who  served  very  acceptably  two  years.  By  reference  to  minutes 
of  the  fourth  quarterly  conference,  held  August  lo,  1878,  we  find  that  S.  D. 
Coonrod  was  appointed  a  committee  to  secure  church  property  in  the  new 
town  (as  Audubon  was  then  called).  At  the  conference  of  1878,  Rev. 
Detwiler  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  J.  W.  Lewis,  under  whose  pastorate  the  class 
in  Audubon  was  organized.  At  the  first  quarterly  conference  of  this  year, 
held  at  Irwin,  November  7,  1878,  the  pastor's  salary  was  placed  at  $500,  and 
apportioned  as  follows:  Irwin,  $225;  Viola,  $200;  Audubon,  $100;  Diggs, 
$30.  This  would  indicate  that  the  membership  of  that  quarterly  conference 
had  faith  in  the  new  town ;  for  there  had  not  up  to  this  time  been  any  religious 
service  in  the  town,  neither  was  there  a  public  building  in  which  services 
could  be  held.  But  the  school  building  on  Davenport  street  was  then  in 
course  of  construction  and  on  December  15  following,  the  first  service  was 
held,  being  a  sermon  by  Rev.  J.  W.  Lewis,  the  congregation  consisting  of 
fifteen  persons,  viz :  Frank  Hobart,  J.  W.  Pollet,  W.  E.  Campbell,  E.  M. 
Funk,  A.  H.  Roberts,  John  Schaly,  J.  H.  Thorp,  M.  Leach,  Peter  Theilen, 
Doctor  Brown,  William  Cloughly,  P.  McKinley,  W.  H.  Scott,  Noah  Keller, 
and  George  A.  Atkinson. 

"The  unique  thing  about  this  congregation  was  that  it  was  composed 
entirely  of  men,  not  a  woman  being  present.  When  we  remember  that  in 
the  ordinary  congregation  women  are  largely  in  excess  of  men,  this  strikes 
one  as  being  at  least  peculiar,  but  the  explanation  is,  there  were  not  at  that 
time  to  exceed  five  women  in  the  town. 

"From  this  time  on,  services  were  held  every  two  weeks.  First  in  the 
above  mentioned  school  house,  then  in  the  court  house,  and  later  in  the  new 
school  building,  and  finally  in  the  new  church.  As  time  passed  the  services 
were  increased  to  one  service  each  Sunday,  and  later  to  two  services. 

"The  second  quarterly  meeting  for  the  year  of  1878-9,  was  held  in 
p3;33p  s^M  s;j3qo>j  -j^  "V  ^^"P  qoiqAV  ;^  '6Zgi  '6  puB  g  Xj^njqa^  'uoqnpny 
trustee  for  Audubon  and  a  committee  appointed  to  solicit  funds  for  the 
erection  of  a  parsonage  in  town.  The  committee  did  not  meet  with  the  suc- 
cess deemed  necessary  in  order  to  undertake  the  work,  so  the  matter  was 

"The  first  communion  service  held  in  the  town  was  at  this  meeting  and 
Audubon  was  reported  as  having  paid  five  dollars  to  support  the  ministry. 

"On  April  13,  1879,  a  Sunday  school  was  organized  and  the  following 
officers    elected :  Superintendent,    A.    H.    Roberts ;    assistant    superintendent. 


Chester  Wheeler;  secretary,  Miss  Kate  Cameron;  treasurer,  E.  W.  Beghtol. 
Number  of  scholars  present,  twenty-three.  For  more  than  a  year  this  was 
the  only  Sunday  school  in  town.  Some  time  during  the  same  month  the 
society,  or  class,  was  organized  and  M.  D.  Bailey  appointed  leader. 

"x\t  the  third  quarterly  meeting  at  Irwin,  May  i,  E.  W.  Beghtol,  S.  H. 
Schryver  and  Chester  Wheeler  were  added  to  the  board  of  trustees.  At  the 
fourth  quarterly  meeting  a  resolution  was  passed,  requesting  the  name  of  the 
circuit  be  changed  from  Hamlin  to  Audubon.  Accordingly  the  annual  con- 
ference, in  September,  1879,  changed  the  name  to  Audubon  circuit  and  sent 
Rev.  A.  W.  Armstrong  as  pastor,  whose  salary  was  placed  at  $500,  appor- 
tioned as  follows:  Audubon,  $150;  Irwin,  $150;  Viola,  $150;  Cameron, 
$50 ;  the  Diggs  appointment  being  dropped.  On  September  22,  the  board  of 
trustees,  composed  of  P.  McKinley,  Chester  Wheeler,  J.  A.  Miller,  S.  H. 
Schryver  and  A.  H.  Roberts,  executed  articles  of  incorporation  as  provided 
by  the  laws  of  the  state,  and  steps  were  taken  looking  toward  the  erection  of 
a  church  edifice,  a  subscription  being  started,  headed  with  three  fifty-dollar 
subscriptions.  The  first  money  paid  toward  the  enterprise  was  two  dollars 
by  S.  W.  Smith,  September  26,  1879. 

"After  the  completion  of  the  court  house,  we  were  permitted  to  use  it 
until  January,  1880,  when  through  the  kindness  of  the  board  of  directors 
we  were  permitted  to  furnish  and  use  the  east  upstairs  room  in  the  new 
school  building.  This  we  continued  to  use  the  balance  of  the  year.  The 
trustees  having  put  in  the  foundation  on  May  17,  the  contract  for  enclosing 
the  church  was  awarded  to  R.  A.  Chaplin  for  one  thousand  three  hundred 
and  seventy-five  dollars. 

"At  the  fourth  quarterly  conference,  held  July  17,  the  trustees  in  their 
report  said :  'We  have  during  the  year  incorporated  according  to  law  and 
have  received  as  a  donation  from  the  Rock  Island  Railroad  Company,  lots 
26  and  27,  block  7,  of  Audubon,  upon  which  we  have  in  course  of  construc- 
tion a  church  thirty  by  fifty  with  a  corner  tower  ten  by  ten.  The  contract 
for  enclosing  the  same,  including  laying  the  floor,  was  awarded  to  R.  A. 
Chaplin  for  one  thousand  three  hundred  and  seventy-five  dollars.  We  have 
received  from  the  Church  Extension  Society  five  hundred  dollars.  Two 
hundred  dollars  as  a  donation  and  three  hundred  dollars  as  a  loan,." 

"Although  Bro.  A.  W.  Armstrong  had  been  in  the  ministry  but  one 
year,  yet  he  took  hold  of  matters  with  a  master  hand,  doing  a  great  amount 
of  hard  and  faithful  work  during  the  summer  in  soliciting,  collecting,  etc., 
and  even  to  performing  of  manual  labor  on  the  building.  For  well  do  I 
remember  having  seen  him  seated  upon  a  scaffold  near  the  top  of  the  belfry, 

AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA.  1 99 

with  brush  in  hand,  doing  the  work  of  an  artisan.  He  closed  a  very  accept- 
able year  in  September,  in  proof  of  which  he  received  from  the  class  in  town 
$223.95,  being  $75.95  in  excess  of, our  apportionment,  the  outside  points, 
however,  not  having  paid  their  apportionment  in  full.  Thirty-eight  were 
received  by  letter  on  the  circuit  during  this  year.  Rev.  W.  C.  Smith  was  the 
next  pastor,  coming  in  September,  1880,  whose  salary  was  fixed  at  six  hun- 
dred dollars  and  one  hundred  and  twenty  dollars  for  house  rent,  the  preach- 
ing points  being  the  same  as  in  the  previous  year. 

"After  many  hard  struggles  by  the  official  members,  for  you  must 
remember  we  had  no  wealth  in  the  church  then,  unless  it  was  a  wealth  of 
perseverance  and  trust  in  God,  the  church  was  in  December,  ready  for  dedica- 
tion, having  cost  about  two  thousand  three  hundred  dollars.  Presiding  Elder 
Smith  conducted  the  dedication  services  on  December  12,  at  which  time  seven 
hundred  and  fifty  dollars  were  raised  and  the  church  cleared  of  indebtedness 
excepting  the  three  hundred  dollars  due  the  Church  Extension  Society, 
which  was  paid  in  annual  payments.  At  the  expiration  of  the  first  year, 
Reverend  Smith,  in  accordance  with  the  wish  of  the  charge,  was  returned, 
his  salary  this  year  being  $800  including  house  rent.  The  apportionment 
was  as  follows:  Audubon,  $600;  Irwin,  $120;  Lone  Willow,  $80;  Viola  and 
Cameron  having  been  cut  off  and  made  the  nucleus  for  a  new  circuit.  Dur- 
ing the  two  years'  pastorate  of  Reverend  Smith,  the  church  gained  strength 
quite  rapidly  by  accessions  by  letter,  also  twenty  were  received  on  probation. 
The  conference  of  1882  sent  Rev.  L.  M.  Campbell  as  pastor,  who  served  one 
year,  at  a  salary  of  six  hundred  dollars  and  one  hundred  and  ten  dollars  for 
house  rent.  The  circuit  at  this  time  consisted  of  but  two  points,  Audubon 
and  Lone  Willow.  Sixteen  were  received  on  probation  this  year  and  a  goodly 
number  by  letter.  Rev.  J.  W.  Bott  was  appointed  pastor  in  September,  1883, 
and  served  three  years.  The  first  year  the  salary  was  six  hundred  dollars 
and  one  hundred  and  forty-four  dollars  for  house  rent.  The  second  year 
six  hundred  dollars;  the  third  year  five  hundred  dollars,  and  parsonage  rent. 
During  the  year  1884,  Lone  Willow  as  a  preaching  point  was  dropped,  the 
membership  having  moved  away  and  dissensions  having  arisen  within  the 
class  to  such  a  degree  that  it  was  impossible  to  keep  up  the  organization,  thus 
leaving  Audubon  a  station.  During  the  year  1885,  our  parsonage  was  bought 
and  moved  to  its  present  location  and  repaired,  at  a  cost  of  about  four  hun- 
dred dollars.  Three  hundred  dollars  of  this  debt  was  paid  by  borrowing 
from  the  Church  Extension  Society,  and  this  obligation  was  canceled  in 
December,  1890.  From  the  pastor's  report  to  the  last  quarterly  conference 
of  his  pastorate  we  glean  the  following :     Probation  record  during  the  three 


years,  2,2;  received  by  letter,  32;  total  accessions  during  the  three  years,  64; 
removals  in  various  ways,  69 ;  removals  in  excess  of  accessions,  5. 

"In  September,  1886,  Rev.  J.  B.  Harris  came  as  pastor  and  Methodism 
at  once  began  an  advance  movement.  Members  were  seen  in  the  pews  who 
had  not  been  there  for  months  and  the  outside  world  began  moving  our  way. 
Brother  Harris  remained  three  years,  the  salary  being  six  hundred  and  fifty 
dollars  and  parsonage  rent  the  first  year ;  eight  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  and 
rent  the  second ;  and  one  thousand  dollars  and  rent  the  third  year,  all  of  which 
was  paid  in  full.  In  1887  repairs  were  made  on  the  church,  including  the 
putting  in  of  the  gallery,  painting,  papering,  etc.,  at  a  cost  of  some  six  hun- 
dred dollars,  and  in  1889,  a  kitchen  was  added  to  the  parsonage,  at  a  cost 
of  about  one  hundred  and  thirty-five  dollars.  There  were  received  during 
the  three  years  eighty-two  probationers,  the  church  experiencing  some 
gracious  revivals,  the  membership  quickened  and  the  attendance  at  the  social 
meetings  increasing  to  a  fair-sized  audience,  the  membership  at  the  close 
of  the  third  year  being  one  hundred  and  forty-three.  It  was  the  wish  of 
Presiding  Elder  Blodgett  that  Brother  Harris  be  returned  for  the  fourth 
year,  but  being  fearful  that  his  physical  strength  would  fail,  at  request  of 
himself  and  nearest  friends,  a  change  was  made  and  in  September,  1889, 
Rev.  E.  E.  Ilgenfritz  was  assigned  to  Audubon  and  remained  four  years, 
under  whose  ministrations  the  church  continued  to  prosper.  Many  of  us 
remember  him  as  a  tireless  worker,  and  one  whose  ability  to  get  to  the  bottom 
of  our  pockets  has  seldom  been  equalled,  and  never  excelled.  We  had  for 
some  time  felt  the  need  of  more  room  in  order  to  accommodate  those  who 
desired  to  attend  our  services,  and  had  at  various  times  discussed  the  matter 
of  adding  to  the  old  church  or  building  a  new  one,  but  the  old  building  being 
in  such  shape  that  it  could  not  well  be  added  to,  and  the  cost  of  building  a 
new  one  so  great,  the  matter  was  put  off  from  time  to  time,  until  at  a  meeting 
of  the  official  board  held  January  26,  1891.  the  members  of  the  board  pledged 
two  thousand  five  hundred  dollars,  and  a  committee  was  appointed  to  solicit 

"The  members  and  friends  responded  so  readily  and  liberally,  that  the 
trustees,  on  Eebruary  9,  voted  to  at  once  make  preparations  for  building. 
Foster  &  Libbe,  of  Des  Moines,  drew  the  plans  and  bids  were  asked  from 
contractors.  Closing  services  in  the  old  church  were  held  from  April  8  to 
12,  a  number  of  former  pastors  participating  and  'goodbye'  was  said  to 
the  old  church,  Sunday,  April  12.  The  building,  exclusive  of  foundation, 
tower  and  furniture,  was  sold  to  T.  J.  Campbell  for  two  hundred  dollars. 

"On  April  27.  Hart,  Markley  &-  Eddy  were  awarded  the  contract  for 


building  the  church  above  the  foundation,  and  Cavinaugh,  of  Atlantic,  given 
the  contract  for  the  foundation.  The  corner  stone  was  laid  by  P.  E.  Frank- 
lin, assisted  by  Rev.  Ilgenfritz,  and  in  it  was  deposited  a  Bible,  hymn  book, 
discipline,  history  of  the  Audubon  church,  names  of  presiding  elder,  names 
of  pastors,  names  of  trustees,  roll  of  membership  of  the  church,  copies  of  the 
Audubon  Republican  and  Advocate  and  North  Western  and  Central  Chris- 
tian Advocates,  etc. 

"While  erecting  the  new  church,  our  services  were  held  in  the  court 
house  and  on  October  25,  the  church,  being  complete  excepting  the  basement, 
was  dedicated  by  P.  E.  Franklin,  assisted  by  Revs.  Ilgenfritz,  J.  B.  Harris, 
A.  W.  Armstrong,  E.  Dickinson,  pastor  of  Presbyterian  church,  and  R.  A. 
Smith,  pastor  of  the  Baptist  church.  The  cost  of  the  church  was  $8,042. 
$1,752  was  needed  to  free  the  church  of  debt.  A  subscription  was  taken 
and  $1,949  was  pledged.  In  1893,  the  basement  was  finished  and  in  Septem- 
ber of  that  year  the  annual  session  of  the  Des  Moines  conference  was  held 
in  Audubon  and,  although  our  resources  for  entertainment  were  taxed  to  the 
utmost,  by  the  help  of  outside  friends  and  the  members  of  the  other  churches, 
we  were  enabled  to  win  the  praise  of  the  ministers  for  our  hospitality,  and 
in  this  connection,  I  am  sure  we  owe  our  Presbyterian  friends  a  debt  of 
gratitude  for  the  royal  manner  in  which  they  assisted,  opening  their  homes  as 
freely  as  our  own  members. 

"This  conference  assigned  Rev.  A.  T.  Jeffrey  to  Audubon,  who  remained 
with  us  one  year,  and  spiritually,  this  was  one  of  the  best  years  in  our  his- 
tory ;  prayer  meetings  being  very  large  and  the  attendance  at  Epworth  League 
being  so  large  the  rear  room  would  not  accommodate  them,  but  were  held  in 
the  basement. 

"In  September,  1894,  Rev.  W.  M.  Dudley  was  assigned  to  Audubon 
and  did  excellent  work  for  three  years  and  was  sent  back  for  the  fourth 
year,  but  was  soon  promoted  by  the  presiding  elder  to  fill  a  vacancy  at  Atlan- 
tic and  Rev.  W.  H.  Shipman  was  transferred  from  Dexter  to  Audubon. 
Brother  Shipman  remained  two  years.  It  was  during  his  pastorate  that  the 
saloons  were  opened,  under  a  petition  that  the  board  of  supervisors  declared 
sufficient,  but  which  the  courts  declared  insufficient.  I  am  of  the  opinion 
that  the  saloons  would  still  be  here  were  it  not  for  Brother  Shipman's 
courage  in  fighting  them. 

"In  September,  1899,  Rev.  R.  W.  Matheny  was  assigned  to  Audubon 
and  rendered  two  years  of  acceptable  service.  Especially  were  the  evening 
congregations  large,  the  young  people  flocking  to  hear  him.  It  was  during 
his  pastorate  (in  1900)  that  the  present  parsonage  was  bought  at  a  cost  of 
two  thousand  dollars,  one  thousand  two  hundred  being  paid  on  it. 


"The  salary  from  Brother  Harris  up  to  this  time  was  one  thousand 
dollars  per  year  and  parsonge  rent,  excepting  the  last  year  of  Brother  Ship- 
man  the  salary  was  placed  at  eight  hundred  and  fifty  dollars,  but  nine  hun- 
dred and  thirty-seven  dollars  was  paid  to  him. 

"In  September,  1901,  Rev.  P.  J.  Vollmer  was  sent  to  Audubon  and 
remained  two  years.  In  January  and  February,  1902,  the  'Sunday  meetings' 
were  held  and  one  hundred  and  eighty  probationers  received  into  our  church ; 
one  hundred  and  twelve  of  these  were  received  into  full  membership.  Rev. 
Vollmer's  salary  was  placed  at  one  thousand  one  hundred  dollars,  but  only 
one  thousand  twenty-nine  dollars  was  paid  the  first  year  and  one  thousand 
forty-seven  dollars  the  second. 

"In  September,  IQ03,  Rev.  A.  A.  Walburn  was  sent  to  us  and  remained 
two  years.  Under  his  able  preaching  and  wise  administration  the  church 
again  began  the  advance  movement,  but  Brother  Walburn  was  very  seriously 
handicapped  first  by  the  illness,  and  later  by  the  death  of  Sister  Walburn, 
who  was  taken  home  July  5,  1904.  Brother  Walburn's  salary  was  one  thou- 
sand two  hundred  dollars  per  year  and  parsonage  rent. 

"In  September,  1905,  Rev.  A.  R.  Grant  was  assigned  to  Audubon,  and 
under  his  ministration  our  church  continued  to  prosper  and  take  on  new  life 
and  activity  in  all  departments ;  the  prayer  meetings  showed  increased  inter- 
est and  attendance,  perhaps  more  than  any  other  service,  and  the  raising  of  a 
subscription  of  one  thousand  two  hundred  dollars,  with  which  to  liquidate 
the  debt  of  eight  hundred  dollars  on  the  parsonage  and  four  hundred  dollars 
to  provide  a  steel  ceiling  for  the  auditorium  of  our  church  indicate  that  our 
members  and  friends  were  still  very  much  alive.  The  salary  remained  at 
one  thousand  two  hundred  dollars  and  parsonage. 

"At  the  annual  conference  in  September.  1907,  Rev.  P.  V.  D.  Vedder 
was  assigned  to  Audubon  and  did  efficient  and  acceptable  service  until  August, 
1908,  when,  while  taking  his  vacation,  which  he  was  spending  on  his  farm  in 
North  Dakota,  Brother  Vedder  was  stricken  with  paralysis  and  from  that 
time  on  was  unable  to  preach.  At  the  annual  conference  in  September,  at 
the  request  of  our  fourth  quarterly  conference.  Brother  Vedder  was  again 
assigned  to  Audubon  and  his  salary  again  placed  at  one  thousand  two  hun- 
dred dollars  and  parsonage  rent,  which  was  paid  in  full,  notwithstanding  he 
was  never  able  to  preach,  but  the  pulpit  was  supplied  by  neigJiboring  pastors 
by  arrangement  with  Brother  Vedder  until  the  first  of  May,  1909,  when  he 
secured  Rev.  D.  B.  S.  Prather,  who  had  just  graduated  from  Northwestern 
School  of  Theology  at  Evanston,  as  assistant  pastor  until  conference  in 
September,  1909. 


"Brother  Prather  had  done  such  acceptable  service  and  had  so  endeared 
himself  to  our  people  that  a  unanimous  request  was  made,  and  a  committee 
consisting  of  E.  Bilharz,  W.  C.  Elliott  and  A.  H.  Roberts,  was  appointed  and 
went  to  Ames  to  plead  for  the  appointment  of  Brother  Prather  as  our  pastor, 
but  the  plea  was  refused  and  Rev.  J.  P.  Morley  assigned  to  Audubon,  who 
served  one  year.  In  September,  1910,  Rev.  J.  H.  Freedline  was  sent  us  and 
is  now  serving  his  fourth  year,  this  being  only  the  second  time  in  the  history 
of  the  charge  where  a  pastor  has  remained  longer  than  three  years  and  our 
church  now  thinks  we  have  one  of  the  best  preachers  in  the  Des  Moines  con- 

"For  some  time  we  had  felt  the  need  of  some  improvements  at  the  par- 
sonage and  of  a  choir  room.  So,  in  191 1,  we  boldly  waded  into  the  matter 
and  made  improvements  costing  three  thousand  dollars,  consisting  of  a  choir 
room  eighteen  by  twenty-two,  veneering  the  foundation  and  basement  story 
of  the  church  with  Des  Moines  flint  brick  and  painting  the  outside.  The 
addition  of  the  choir  room  fills  a  long-felt  want,  for  it  not  only  means  a 
comfortable,  commodious  and  pleasant  place  for  the  choir  to  meet,  but  is 
also  used  for  other  small  meetings  as  well  as  making  a  new  and  needed 
entrance  and  vestibule  to  the  church  parlors. 

"While  upon  the  subject  of  choirs,  it  is  but  proper  to  say  that  our  large 
chorus  choir  is  one  of  which  our  church  is  proud,  and  has  been  one  of  the 
strong  elements  in  our  work  since  the  organization  of  our  church,  the  best 
musical  talent  of  the  town  having  been  associated  with  us  in  our  choir. 

"At  the  parsonage  the  one-story  kitchen  was  raised  to  two  stories  and  a 
modern  bath  room  installed  above,  a  porch  built  in  front,  a  hot-air  furnace 
put  in,  the  whole  parsonage  repapered  and  painted  outside  and  in,  and  this 
year  the  Ladies'  Aid  Society  has  refrescoed  and  decorated  the  church  inside, 
and  recarpeted,  with  Wilton  velvet  Brussels  carpet  at  an  expense  of  five  hun- 
dred dollars. 

"Revival  meetings  have  been  held  at  various  times,  and  at  the  meeting 
this  fall  upwards  of  sixty  decided  to  live  Christian  lives  and  forty-three  were 
added  to  the  church.  Our  Sunday  school,  Epworth  League  and  other  socie- 
ties of  the  church  have  all  been  helpful  factors  in  carrying  on  the  Master's 
work,  and  as  we  enter  upon  the  thirty-sixth  year  of  our  work  as  a  church, 
we  do  so  with  a  firm  faith  that  the  Master  will  still  use  us  for  the  advance- 
ment of  his  cause. 

"The  presiding  elders  serving  during  the  existence  of  the  charge  are: 
Rev.  John  Hestwood,  September,  1876  to  1880;  W.  T.  Smith,  September, 
1880  to   1882;  W.  C.  Martin,   September,   1882  to  1885;  C.  W.   Blodgett, 


September,  1885  to  1890;  D.  C.  Franklin,  September,  1890  to  1896;  W.  W. 
Ramsey,  September,  1896  to  1899;  W.  O.  Allen,  September,  1899  to  Janu- 
ary, 1904;  William  Stevenson,  January,  1904,  to  the  time  of  McDade's 
appointment;  Rev.  E.  W.  McDade,  1909  to  1915. 

"The  Sunday  school  has  during  these  years  in  the  main  continued  to 
prosper,  although,  being  a  branch  of  the  church,  has,  of  course,  felt  the  waves 
of  depression  that  have  come  to  the  church,  yet  it  has  had  no  small  influence 
in  sustaining  and  upholding  the  church  and  moulding  Christian  character. 
In  fact,  twice  in  the  church's  history,  we  believe  the  Sunday  school  was  the 
principal  factor  in  binding  and  holding  our  people  together.  Our  Epworth 
League  was  organized  in  1891  and  has  been  a  strong  factor  in  training  our 
young  people  to  be  Christian  workers  and  loyal  supporters  of  the  church. 
The  first  cabinet  was :  A.  H.  Roberts,  president ;  M.  Johnson,  first  vice- 
president  Ella  Van  Scoy,  second  vice-president;  Ellis  Harper,  third  vice- 
president  ;  Myrtle  Sharp,  fourth  vice-president ;  Myrtle  Wilson,  secretary ; 
Hettie  Van  Scoy,  treasurer.  The  present  cabinet  is :  President,  John  M. 
Renftle;  first  vice-president,  Gladdys  Fancher;  second  vice-president,  Hazel 
Mooreman ;  third  vice-president,  Lucile  Wright ;  fourth  vice-president,  Vina 
Fancher;  secretary,  Margaret  Weston;  assistant  secretary,  Wanda  Wright; 
treasurer,  Etta  Kennells ;  organist,  Eloise  Buck ;  chorister,  W.  W.  Smith. 
The  Junior  League,  Ladies'  Aid  Society,  Women's  Foreign  Missionary  Society 
and  Women's  Home  Missionary  Society  have  each  done  their  share  in  sus- 
taining and  carrying  on  the  work,  although  I  have  not  the  statistics  of  their 
work  at  hand. 

"God  has  been  gracious  in  sparing  the  lives  of  our  members,  and  yet, 
while  the  shadows  have  been  falling  on  homes  all  around  us,  we  could  not 
but  expect  that  some  of  our  members  would  be  called  from  the  church 
militant  to  the  church  triumphant.  Some  have  peacefully  fallen  asleep, 
others  have  died  triumphantly,  and  because  of  these  bright  examples  of 
Christian  living  and  dying;  because  of  the  severing  of  heart  strings,  many 
of  our  members  feel  that  they  have  stronger  ties  to  bind  them  to  the  eternal 
world  than  before.  There  are  many  who,  by  their  lives  of  piety,  Christian 
zeal,  liberality  and  devotion  to  the  cause,  are  worthy  of  special  mention, 
but  time  forbids,  and  although  their  good  deeds  may  not  be  recorded  here, 
there  is  the  assurance  that  in  the  record  written  on  high,  the}^  will  receive 
the  proper  recognition  and  there  will  be  no  errors  there." 

Since  the  above  was  written,  the  church  has  continued  to  prosper.  Rev. 
Freedline  completed  his  four  years  of  very  successful  pastorate  in  Septem- 
ber,  19 14,  and  the  conference  sent  Rev.  Jackson  Giddens  as  pastor,  who  is 


giving  very  acceptable  service.  The  present  membership  of  the  church  is 
three  hundred  and  forty-five,  and  of  the  Sunday  school  over  three  hundred. 
A.  H.  Roberts  is  now  serving  his  thirty-seventh  year  as  superintendent  of  the 
Sunday  school. 

At  her  death,  in  19 13,  Mrs.  Lois  G.  Stuart  remembered  this  church  in 
her  will  by  a  bequest  of  one  thousand  dollars,  which  is  greatly  appreciated  by 
all  the  members.  The  following  have  served  as  lay  delegates  to  the  lay 
electoral  Conferences:  1879,  Charles  Walker;  1883,  A.  H.  Roberts;  1887,  A. 
H.  Roberts;  1891,  John  Van  Scoy;  1895,  Dr.  C.  W.  DeMott;  1899,  A.  H. 
Roberts;  1903,  A.  H.  Roberts;  1907,  Mrs.  A.  L.  Brooks;  191 1,  A.  C.  Ross; 
191 5,  A.  H.  Roberts. 

In  1900  A.  H.  Roberts  represented  the  Des  Moines  conference  as  a  lay 
delegate  in  the  general  conference  at  Chicago. 

ROSS   M.   E.    CHURCH. 

The  Ross  class  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized  in  1892 
as  a  part  of  what  was  then  Audubon  circuit,  the  other  points  on  the  circuit 
being  Bethel,  Melville  Center  and  Sunny  Side.  The  charter  members  or 
Organizers  were:  J.  J.  Quimby  and  wife,  Charles  Kibler  and  wife,  A.  J. 
Eddy  and  wife,  and  others.  The  church  building,  which  is  twenty-four  by 
thirty-six  in  size,  with  vestibule  and  spire,  was  erected  in  1892  under  the 
ministrations  of  Rev.  A.  V.  Knepper  and  cost  one  thousand  two  hundred 
dollars.    It  was  dedicated  on  June  4,  1892,  by  Rev.  E.  E.  Ilgenfritz. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  those  who  have  served  as  pastors :  Rev.  A. 
V.  Knepper,  Rev.  W.  J.  Richards,  1893;  Rev.  T.  W.  Tippet,  1894;  Rev. 
I.  H.  Elliott,  1895;  Rev.  Samuel  Krell,  1896-7;  Rev.  C.  H.  Miller,  1898; 
Rev.  O.  T.  Nichols,  1899;  Rev.  M.  F.  Loomis,  1900;  Rev.  George  Wey- 
rauch,  1901-2;  Rev.  E.  W.  Bates,  1903;  Rev.  E.  H.  Moore,  1904;  Rev.  B. 
Shinn,  1905;  Rev.  M.  L.  Hill,  1906;  Rev.  E.  B.  Scoggen;  Rev.  C.  S. 
Lyles,  who  is  the  present  pastor.  The  class  is  now  a  part  of  the  Manning 
charge.     The  present  membership  is  fifteen. 

GRAY   M.    E.    CHURCH. 

Fray  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized  in  1885,  ^s  a  part  of 
the  Manning  charge,  with  seven  charter  members,  J.  M.  Greenlee,  Mary  J. 
Greenlee,  Russell  A.  Steere,  Alice  J.  Steere  and  three  others.  The  church 
edifice,  thirty-two  by  forty  feet  in  size,  costing  one  thousand  five  hundred 


dollars,  was  built  in  1886.  The  dedication  sermon  was  preached  by  Rev. 
H.  J.  Everly. 

Rev.  I.  H.  Elliott  was  pastor  from  1885  to  1887;  Rev.  J.  S.  Throckmor- 
ton, 1887  to  1888;  Rev.  J.  W.  Eckels,  1888-9;  Rev.  I.  M.  O'Flying.  '89  to 
'91;  Rev.  S.  O.  Elliott,  '94  to  July,  '95;  Rev.  W.  B.  Cox,  July,  '95,  to  Sep- 
tember, '95  Rev.  G.  W.  Wood,  '95  to  '98;  Rev.  S.  T.  Weaver,  '98  to  1900; 
Rev.  F.  T.  Stevenson,  1900  to  1901 ;  Rev.  A.  A.  Bennett,  '01  to  '04;  Rev.  J, 
N.  McCurdy,  '04  to  '05 ;  Rev.  A.  L.  Golden,  '05  to  '08 ;  Rev.  R.  E.  Harvey, 
'08  to  '10;  Rev.  J.  A.  Hosier,  '10  to  '11  ;  Rev.  E.  B.  Scoggen,  '11  to  '14.  The 
present  pastor  is  Rev.  C.  S.  Lyles.     The  membership  is  thirty-four. 


The  Viola  Center  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized  in  1880 
and  was  connected  with  the  Dedham  charge,  with  which  it  has  been  identified 
since.  The  church  building,  which  was  erected  in  1887,  is  a  frame  structure, 
thirty-two  by  sixty  feet  in  size.  The  membership  is  not  large,  on  account  of 
its  proximity  to  other  churches.  The  ministers  who  served  as  pastors  are :  Rev. 
J.  S.  Morrow,   1882;  Rev.  S.  Mihigan,   1883;  Rev.  J.  S.  Hall,   1884;  Rev. 

D.  W.  Henderson,  1884;  Rev.  W.  Stevenson,  1885;  Rev.  Charles  Brown, 
1886;  Rev.  F.  J.  Brown,  1887;  Rev.  R.  R.  C.  Grantham,  1888-9;  Rev.  A. 
Adair,  1890;  Rev.  F.  M.  Carpenter,  1891 ;  Rev.  I.  M.  O'Flying,  1892;  Rev. 
R.  E.  Harvey,  1893-4-5-6  and  7;  Rev.  W.  L.  Cox,  1898-9;  Rev.  J.  W.  Lucas, 
1900;  Rev.  W.  H.  Doyle,  1901-2;  Rev.  A.  J.  Mathews,  1903-4;  Rev.  W.  T. 
Rink,  1905-6;  Rev.  W.  E.  Shugg,  1907-8-9;  Rev.  J.  H.  Frail,  1909-10;  Rev. 

E.  R.  Stroud,  1911-12;  Rev.  C.  S.  Lyles,  1913.  The  present  pastor  is  Rev. 
C.  W.  Peer. 

HAMLIN    M.    E.    CHURCH. 

We  have  not  the  data  as  to  the  first  organization  of  the  Hamlin  church. 
However,  we  find  that  in  the  early  seventies,  it  was  the  center  from  which 
radiated  the  religious  influence  for  the  north  nine  townships  in  the  county, 
but  after  the  building  of  the  town  of  Audubon  that  center  was  transferred, 
and  by  death  and  removal  the  membership  in  Hamlin  became  so  weak  that 
services  for  a  time  were  almost,  if  not  wholly,  abandoned.  -In  1896  the 
class  was  reorganized  with  the  following  members  and  connected  with  the 
Exira  charge:  William  L.  Clark  and  wife,  James  McNutt  and  wife,  Frank 
White  and  wife.  George  H.  Morey  and  wife,  R.  J.  Fullerton  and  wife,  Emily 
Godwin  and  Frank  Godwin. 


In  1898,  during  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  O.  T.  Nichols,  the  present  church 
edifice,  a  structure  twenty-eight  by  thirty-six  feet  in  size,  was  erected,  at  a 
cost  of  one  thousand  two  hundred  dollars.  The  building  committee  was 
W.  L.  Clark,  James  McNutt  and  George  Lafoy.  Andrew  Dove  did  the 
carpenter  work  and  Lyman  Kelley  the  mason  work. 

The  following  have  served  as  pastors :  Rev.  L.  H.  Humphrey,  O.  T. 
Nichols,  R.  C.  F.  Chambers,  J.  E.  Nichol,  T.  G.  Aten,  E.  W.  Bates,  W.  E. 
Harvey,  John  Harned,  George  A.  Lawton  and  H.  P.  Grinyer,  the  present 
pastor.  The  present  membership  is  about  forty-five.  A  flourishing  Sunday 
school  is  maintained  under  the  superintendency  of  John  H.  Parnham. 


The  Greeley  Center  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  located  in  section  22, 
Greeley  township,  was  organized  in  1886,  with  the  following  membership: 
John  H.  Reynolds,  Lucy  Reynolds,  Fred  Reynolds,  Samuel  W.  Reynolds 
and  Katie  V.  Reynolds.  Services  were  held  in  the  Greeley  Center  school 
house  until  in  1898,  when  the  present  church  was  built,  its  size  being  twenty- 
four  by  thirty-six  feet,  and  cost  one  thousand  eighty  dollars.  The  present 
membership  is  twenty-six.  A  Sunday  school  and  Epworth  League  are  main- 
tained a  greater  portion  of  the  time. 

The  first  pastor  was  Rev.  Lewis  Tabor,  a  local  preacher ;  then  followed 
Rev.  F.  B.  Dunn.  Rev.  William  Mercer,  Rev.  W.  J.  Richards,  Rev.  L.  D. 
Bartley.  Rev.  M.  T.  Brown.  Rev.  J.  F.  Davis,  Rev.  T.  G.  Clark,  Rev.  G.  E. 
Nichols,  Rev.  W.  T.  Rink,  Rev.  Elliott  Voorhees,  Rev.  R.  B.  Hughes,  Rev. 
T.  G.  Aten,  Rev.  P.  A.  Smith,  Rev.  L.  D.  Gager,  Rev.  F.  C.  Whtiney,  Rev. 
R.  P.  Roberts.  Rev.  Robert  Swick,  Rev.  F.  C.  Taylor  and  the  present  pastor, 
Rev.  H.  T.  Young.  This  church  has  always  been  associated  with,  and  a  part 
of,  the  North  Branch  circuit. 


The  Melville  Center  class  of  the  IMethodist  Episcopal  church  was  organ- 
ized in  1892  as  a  part  of  the  Audubon  circuit  and  is  located  in  section  22, 
Melville  township.  Among  the  early  members  were  James  Hunt,  P.  J. 
Keith  and  wife  and  A.  B.  Hunt  and  wife.  The  church  building,  twenty- four 
by  thirty-six  feet  in  size,  with  vestibule,  was  erected  in  1892,  at  a  cost  of  one 
thousand  two  hundred  dollars. 

Rev.  A.  V.  Knepper  was  the  first  pastor  and  was  largely  instrumental  in 
the  building.     He  was  followed  by  Rev.  W.  J.  Richards,  Rev.  T.  W.  Tippett, 


Rev.  I.  H.  Elliott,  Rev.  Samuel  Krell,  Rev.  C.  H.  Miller,  Rev.  O.  T.  Nichols, 
Rev.  M.  F.  Loomis,  Rev.  George  Weyrauch,  Rev.  E.  W.  Bates,  Rev.  E.  H, 
Moore,  Rev.  B.  Shinn  and  Rev.  M.  L.  Hill. 

Owing  to  removals  and  other  causes,  the  membership  became  reduced 
to  two  or  three  members,  and  not  being  able  to  support  a  pastor,  no  services 
were  held  for  three  or  four  years,  but  a  Sunday  school  was  maintained  a  por- 
tion of  the  time,  until  the  spring  of  1914,  when,  largely  through  the  influence 
of  Rev.  J.  H.  Freedline,  then  pastor  at  Audubon,  services  were  renewed  and 
since  that  time  has  been  supplied  by  the  pastor  in  Audubon.  During  the  fall 
of  1914  a  revival  was  held  by  Rev.  Jackson  Giddins,  and  accessions  were 
received  until  now  the  membership  is  twenty-two,  with  preaching  every  Sun- 
day afternoon  and  a  flourishing  Sunday  school,  superintended  by  Mrs.  W.  A. 


Bethel  Methodist  Episcopal  church  is  located  in  section  5,  Melville 
township.  It  was  organized  in  1887  by  the  following  members,  a  portion  of 
whom  came  from  Viola  church,  and  others  who  resided  at  too  great  a  dis- 
tance to  attend  any  church :  C.  H.  Sampson  and  wife,  W.  W.  Weston  and 
wife,  Charles  J.  Johnson  and  wife,  Otis  Morey  and  wife,  L.  M.  Carper  and 
wife,  D.  D.  Sampson  and  wife,  H.  Byrd  and  wife,  William  Wilde  and  wife, 
Mrs.  Olive  Beason,  Ella  Beason  and  Lewis  Beason. 

A  Sunday  school  was  first  organized,  with  C.  H.  Sampson  as  superin- 
tendent ;  afterward  a  class  was  organized  and  attached  to  the  Audubon  cir- 
suit.  Arrangements  were  made  with  Rev.  F.  M.  Carpenter  to  supply  the 
church  until  the  annual  conference  convened  in  Septeml^er,  when  Rev.  Will- 
iam Mercer  came  as  pastor,  under  whose  pastorate,  in  1888,  a  neat  church 
building,  twenty-eight  by  thirty-six  feet  in  size,  was  erected,  at  a  cost  of  one 
thousand  five  liundred  dollars.  The  class  continued  as  a  part  of  the  Audu- 
bon circuit  until  1907,  with  the  following  pastors  serving:  Rev.  F.  B.  Dunn, 
Rev.  A.  V.  Knepper,  Rev.  W.  J.  Richards,  Rev.  T.  W.  Tippett,  Rev.  I.  H. 
Elliott,  Rev.  Samuel  Krell,  Rev.  C.  H.  Miller,  Rev.  M.  F.  Loomis,  Rev.  G. 
W.  Weyrauch,  Rev.  E.  W.  Bates,  Rev.  E.  H.  Moore,  Rev.  B.  Shinn,  Rev. 
M.  L.  Hill. 

In  1907  the  class  was  detached  from  the  Audubon  circuit  and  annexed 
to  the  Dedham  circuit,  the  following  pastors  serving:  Rev.  W.  E.  Shugg, 
two  years;  Rev.  J.  H.  Prall,  two  years;  Rev.  E.  R.  Stroud,  two  years;  Rev. 
C.  S.  Lyles,  one  year,  and  the  present  pastor.  Rev.  C.  W.  Peer.  The  present 
membership  is  about  forty.    The  Sunday  school  has  continued  to  do  excellent 


work  all  these  years,  at  times  the  membership  running  up  to  one  hundred. 
Since  C.  H.  Sampson's  removal,  D.  D.  Sampson  has  been  superintendent. 


About  1 89 1  a  class  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized  at 
Sunny  Side  school  house,  Greeley  township.  Some  of  the  leading  persons 
in  its  organization  were  David  Sheets,  Col.  E.  G.  White  and  wife,  R.  H.  Gar- 
nett  and  wife,  W.  C.  Rice  and  wife  and  Mrs.  F.  M.  Rice.  The  first  pastor  was 
Rev.  L.  Tabor,  a  local  preacher,  who  supplied  for  a  time.  Afterward  the  . 
class  was  attached  to  the  Audubon  circuit  and  the  following  served  as  pas- 
tors :  Rev.  A.  V.  Knepper,  Rev.  W.  J.  Richards,  Rev.  T.  W.  Tippett,  Rev. 
I.  H.  Elliott,  Rev.  Samuel  Krell.  By  removals  and  death,  this  class  became 
so  weakened  that  services  were  abandoned  in  1897,  those  remaining  taking 
their  membership  elsewhere. 


On  July  7,  1899,  at  the  time  of  the  laying  of  the  cornerstone  of  the 
new  church,  Rev.  E.  B.  Cousins  gave  the  following  historical  sketch  of  this 
church  up  to  that  time,  which  is  the  best  obtainable : 

"An  encouraging  prospect  appearing  for  the  organization  and  establish- 
ment of  a  Presbyterian  church  in  the  new  town  of  Audubun,  which  had  just 
become  the  terminus  of  the  railroad,  located  centrally  in  Audubon  county, 
with  assuring  promises  of  soon  becoming  the  county  seat;  and  with  an 
urgent  demand  for  such  a  church  being  manifest,  on  the  part  of  a  large 
number  of  the  business  men  and  citizens  of  the  surrounding  country  the 
presbytery  of  Council  Bluffs,  at  an  adjourned  meeting,  held  in  Council 
Bluffs,  November  12,  1878,  appointed  a  committee,  consisting  of  Rev.  John 
Herron  and  Elder  J.  G.  Cotton,  both  of  Atlantic,  to  look  over  the  field,  and, 
if  the  way  be  clear,  effect  an  organization  at  their  earliest  convenience. 

"That  committee  at  once  proceeded  to  a  more  thorough  canvass  of  the 
field  during  the  following  winter  and  early  spring,  while  the  young  town  was 
growing  rapidly,  and,  after  a  number  of  services,  held  in  the  school  house 
in  town  by  Rev.  John  Herron  and  Rev.  Ed.  B.  Cousins,  of  Clarence,  Iowa, 
the  prospect  brightened,  the  demand  on  the  part  of  the  people  became  more 
urgent  and  the  way  appeared  clear  to  effect  the  formal  organization. 

"A  public  meeting  of  the  congregation  was  held  in  the  school  house  on 



Monday,  April  14,  1879,  at  three  P.  M.,  and  after  a  sermon  by  Rev.  John 
Herron,  the  committee  proceeded  at  once  to  the  organization. 

"It  was  found  that  only  seven  were  then  fully  prepared  to  become  mem- 
bers of  the  organization,  five  by  letter  and  two  by  examination  and  confes- 
sion of  faith.  Three  others  reported  having  sent  for  their  church  letters,  but 
had  not  yet  received  them  and  only  one  of  that  number  ever  received  his 
letter  and  formally  united  with  the  church.  So  this  church  was  organized 
really  with  only  seven  members.  The  roll  of  original  membership  is  as  fol- 
lows:  By  letter,  E.  C.  Brown,  Alex.  A.  Campbell  and  wife,  Mrs.  Maggie 
Ross,  Evan  Davis;  by  examination  and  confession,  Robert  Henderson  and 
Mrs.  Janet  Grifiin,  and  George  W.  Newcomer  by  letter,  April  28,  fourteen 
days  after  organization.  The  membership  thus  constituted  chose  the  name 
by  which  the  new  church  should  be  known  and  enrolled  upon  the  records  of 
presbytery  as  the  First  Presbyterian  Church  of  Audubon.  This  was  also  the 
first  and  only  Presbyterian  church  in  Audubon  county. 

"E.  C.  Brown  and  A.  A.  Campbell  were  elected  and  ordained  the  first 
ruling  elders.  Capt.  Charles  Stuart,  A.  A.  Campbell,  E.  C.  Brown,  Wilson 
Burnside,  Evan  Davis,  Robert  Henderson,  John  L.  Dynes  and  George  W. 
Newcomer  were  elected  as  a  building  committee,  the  latter  five  of  whom 
were  also  elected  as  the  first  trustees.  The  newly  organized  church  at  once 
made  a  pastoral  call  and  extended  the  same  to  Rev.  Ed.  B.  Cousins,  of  Clar- 
ence, Iowa,  to  become  its  first  pastor. 

"The  formal  organization,  thus  completed,  was  reported  by  the  com- 
mittee to  the  presbytery  in  session  at  Walnut,  Iowa,  April  18,  1879.  The 
report  was  approved  and  the  church  enrolled  by  presbytery. 

"The  pastoral  call  previously  made  by  the  church  was  presented  to 
presbytery  by  Elder  E.  C.  Brown.  That  body,  according  to  form,  placed  said 
call  in  the  hands  of  the  pastor-elect,  who  accepted  it  formally,  but,  on  due 
deliberation,  it  was  thought  best,  both  by  himself  and  the  presbytery,  to  delay 
the  consummation  of  the  pastoral  union  until  reasonable  time  and  oppor- 
tunity were  granted  for  pastor  and  people  to  become  better  acquainted.  On 
motion,  the  call  was  returned  to  the  church,  with  the  suggestion  that,  Tn 
view  of  the  youthfulness  of  the  church,  the  formation  of  a  pastoral  relation 
be  deferred  until  the  next  stated  meeting  of  the  presbytery.' 

"The  church  then  engaged  the  services  of  the  pastor-elect  for  one  year 
as  stated  supply.  Services  were  held  in  the  school  house  each  alternate 
Sabbath  until  the  new  church  could  be  erected  and  completed,  which  occurred 
about  one  year  later.  The  building  committee  diligently  prosecuted  their 
work.    The  required  funds  were  readily  raised,  the  people  generallv  respond- 


ing  liberally  according  to  their  means.  Plans  and  specifications  were  pro- 
cured and  adopted.  The  contract  was  let  so  that,  early  in  June,  1879,  the 
building  (thirty-eight  by  sixty  feet)  was  raised  and  rapidly  approaching 
completion  when  a  severe  wind  storm  leveled  the  entire  structure  to  the 
ground.  After  a  serious  delay,  however,  the  work  was  taken  up  again  with 
renewed  vigor  and  zeal  and,  with  a  force  of  twenty  or  more  men,  from  the 
ruins  of  the  old,  a  new  structure  was  soon  erected  upon  the  original  founda- 
tion. The  work  was  carried  along  to  completion  at  an  extra  cost  of  about 
four  hundred  dollars,  and  on  Sabbath,  January  18,  1880,  the  first  service 
was  held  in  the  church.  The  text  of  the  discourse  was  Psalms  122:1,  "1  was 
glad  when  they  said  unto  me,  let  us  go  into  the  house  of  the  Lord,"  and  the 
appreciation  of  the  truth  of  that  text  was  greatly  attested  by  an  immense 
audience,  both  morning  and  evening,  with  congregations  who  appeared  glad 
to  be  permitted  to  again  attend  divine  service  in  a  church  building.  After 
holding  service  the  next  Sabbath,  the  building  was  closed  for  inside  painting 
and  finish,  until  Sabbath,  March  28,  when  it  was  again  occupied,  and  after  a 
sermon  by  the  pastor-elect,  the  sacrament  of  the  Lord's  supper  was  observed, 
with  a  number  of  accessions  to  the  church  membership.  Regular  services 
were  held  until  the  day  of  formal  dedication,  May  9,  when  Rev.  Thomas  H. 
McClelland,  D.  D.,  of  Council  Bluffs,  preached  the  dedicatory  sermon.  The 
dedicatory  prayer  and  address  were  made  by  Rev.  Ed.  B.  Cousins,  pastor- 
elect,  and  the  house  was  formally  dedicated  to  the  service  and  worship  of 
Almighty  God,  free  from  debt.  The  entire  cost  was  something  over  four 
thousand  dollars,  of  which  the  presbytery  board  of  church  erection  gave 
seven  hundred  dollars.  The  two  valuable  lots,  each  fifty  by  one  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  in  size,  were  donated  by  the  Chicago  &  Rock  Island  Railroad  Com- 
pany. The  magnificent  gift  to  this  church  of  the  premium  four-hundred- 
dollar  Mancely  &  Kimberly  Troy  bell  is  due  to  the  good  offices  of  Capt. 
Charles  Stuart,  since  deceased,  who  not  only  secured  the  donation  of  one 
hundred  dollars  each  from  three  of  the  prominent  officers  of  the  railroad 
company  with  free  freight  from  Chicago,  but  generously  footed  the  balance 
of  the  bill  himself. 

"After  nearly  one  year's  services  as  stated  supply,  a  new  call  for  the 
pastoral  services  of  Rev.  Edward  B.  Cousins  was  issued  and  forwarded  to 
the  presbytery  in  session  at  Emerson,  April  16,  1880.  The  same  was  accepted 
by  him.  Rev.  John  Herron  preached  the  installation  sermon.  Rev.  S.  L. 
McAffee  charged  the  pastor.  Rev.  Thomas  McClelland  charged  the  people  at 
installation  day.  May  9,  1880.  On  April  4,  1880,  the  Sabbath  school  was 
organized,  with  a  membership  of  fifty,  which,  within  one  year,  about  doubled 


itself  in  numbers  and  during  two  following  years  grew  to  and  sustained  an 
average  membership  of  one  hundred  and  twenty-five.  A  choice  library  of 
two  hundred  and  sixty-four  volumes  was  put  in,  at  a  cost  of  one  hundred 
and  fifty  dollars. 

"From  its  organization  until  the  present  time  (July  7,  1899),  a  little 
over  twenty  years,  only  six  different  ministers  have  been  engaged  to  serve 
this  church  for  regular  stated  term.  Of  these,  three  have  been  regularly 
installed  as  pastors,  and  the  other  three  served  as  stated  supplies.  The  first 
pastorate  closed  on  May  13,  1883,  after  a  little  more  than  four  years' 
service,  by  Rev.  E.  B.  Cousins.  After  trying  the  weekly  supply  system,  on 
October  25,  1883,  Rev.  D.  A.  Blose  was  installed  as  pastor,  and  served  until 
the  spring  of  1885.  In  May,  1885,  R^v.  J.  H.  Bartlett  came  as  stated  supply 
for  one  year  and  in  January,  1886,  left  the  field  and  presbytery.  The  church 
then  remained  vacant  until  September,  1886,  when  Rev.  Edward  Dickinson 
came  and  engaged  as  stated  supply.  He  continued  in  that  capacity  for  nearly 
ten  years,  an  able,  efficient  preacher  and  successful  laborer  in  the  Master's 
vineyard,  until  the  close  of  August,  1896.  He  v/as  followed  by  Rev.  Joseph 
Austin  Cahill,  who,  in  September,  1896,  engaged  as  stated  supply  for  one 
year  and  again  the  church  was  vacant.  In  1897  Rev.  John  F.  Hinkhouse 
began  serving  the  church  as  stated  supply,  the  engagement  being  for  twelve 
or  fifteen  months,  with  a  view  to  settlement  as  pastor,  if  the  way  appear  clear. 
He  came  from  Lenox,  where  his  labors  had  been  abundantly  blessed,  and  his 
cordial  greeting  in  this  new  field  gave  encouraging  promise  of  successful 
work  and  blessed  results  in  the  Master's  cause  among  us.  That  promise  has 
been  verified  even  in  a  much  larger  measure  than  could  be  hoped  for,  even 
by  the  most  sanguine.  During  the  winter  of  1897-8  he  secured  the  assistance 
of  Evangelist  Foot  in  conducting  a  series  of  meetings  of  two  weeks,  with 
blessed  results,  some  of  the  precious  fruits  of  which  were  the  gathering  into 
church  of  many  by  letter  and  by  confession  of  faith  in  Christ.  His  ministra- 
tions, thus  proving  so  satisfactory  to  the  church  and  congregation,  also 
accomplished  another  most  important  result  of  effectually  bringing  to  a  pre- 
mature end  the  un-presbyterian  stated  supply  system  so  long  in  vogue  in  this 

"On  April  3,  1898,  a  formal  ballot  was  taken  with  a  view  to  calling 
Rev.  Hinkhouse  to  a  pastorate  of  the  church,  resulting  in  one  hundred  yeas  to 
one  nay.  The  call,  after  the  usual  form  by  the  presbytery,  was  accepted  by 
Rev.  Hinkhouse.  The  formal  installation  ceremony  occurred  on  May  13, 
1898.  Under  the  new  pastorate  the  work  has  gone  forward  very  encourag- 
ingly  for  more  than  a  year,   showing  in  good  results  a  steady,   healthful 


growth  and  a  continued  increasing  interest  on  the  part  of  the  membership 
and  congregation.'' 

The  old  building  proving  to  be  inadec^uate  for  the  needs  of  the  con- 
gregation, a  congregational  meeting  was  held  on  February  15,  1899,  to  con- 
sider the  question  of  building  a  new  one.  It  was  unanimously  voted  to  pro- 
ceed to  the  erection  of  a  new  edifice.  A  building  committee  was  appointed, 
consisting  of  Rev.  J.  F.  Hinkhouse,  Thomas  Oliver,  W.  Burnside,  R.  L. 
Harris,  H.  A.  Arnold,  W.  H.  Cowles,  J.  M.  McKarahan  and  Samuel  Switzer. 
The  committee  at  once  proceeded  to  the  work  of  soliciting  funds  and  select- 
ing plans  for  a  beautiful  and  commodious  (seventy  by  eighty  feet  in  size) 
building,  which  was  built  of  frame,  veneered  with  pressed  brick,  at  a  cost  o'f 
twelve  thousand  dollars.  This  is  the  largest  and  best  appointed  church 
building  in  the  county.  It  was  dedicated  on  the  loth  of  December,  1899, 
free  from  debt,  through  the  generosity  of  Mrs.  Lois  G.  Stuart,  who  gave  one 
dollar  for  each  dollar  subscribed,  and  then  made  up  a  deficiency  at  the  end; 
recently  this  church  has  also  received  five  thousand  dollars,  bequeathed  to  it 
by  Mrs.  Stuart  in  her  will. 

During  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Hinkhouse  the  "Sunday  Meetings"  were 
held,  from  which  this  church  received  a  wonderful  inspiration,  gathering  in 
about  two  hundred  new  members,  some  of  whom  have  proven  strong  factors 
and  burden  bearers  in  the  church  work. 

Rev.  Hinkhouse  remained  as  pastor  till  January  17,  1904,  when  he 
removed  to  Sioux  City.  The  next  pastor  was  Rev.  Samuel  Conybeare,  who 
began  his  work  on  the  first  Sunday  in  May,  1904,  and  continued  the  work  in 
a  very  acceptable  manner  until  February  24,  1907,  when  he  severed  his  con- 
nection to  accept  a  call  to  Cedar  Rapids.  The  services  of  Rev.  D.  C.  Mcin- 
tosh were  then  secured,  he  beginning  his  labors  on  March  31,  1907,  and  con- 
tinuing until  January  24,  1909.  The  next  pastor  was  Rev.  A.  B.  Miller,  who 
came  on  April  11,  1909,  and  continued  until  September  8,  1913,  when  he 
accepted  a  call  to  Tarkio,  Missouri.  The  next  to  accept  the  pastorate  was 
Rev.  Thomas  B.  Greenlee,  who  begun  his  work  on  January  25,  1914,  and 
who  is  still  pastor,  doing  acceptable  service  and  under  whose  ministry  the 
church  still  prospers. 

A  strong  and  active  Ladies'  Aid  Society  and  Woman's  Missionary 
Society  have  done  and  are  still  doing  excellent  service  in  carrying  on  the 
work  of  the  church.  A  Christian  Endeavor  Society  has  also  been  no  small 
factor  in  helping  the  young  people  in  the  Christian  way,  and  the  Sunday 
school,  a  greater  portion  of  the  time  under  the  superintendency  of  Rev.  E.  B. 
Cousins,  has  been  a  power  for  the  building  up  of  Christian  characters  among 
the  children  and  young  people. 


In  1 89 1  this  congregation  purchased  a  two-story,  eight-room  house, 
across  the  street,  for  a  parsonage,  which  was  remodeled,  a  hot-air  furnace 
put  in,  and  other  improvements  made,  at  a  total  cost  of  about  three  thousand 
dollars.  This  church  also  organized  what  was  known  as  the  "Old  Hamlin" 
Presbyterian  church,  a  branch  of  this  church,  the  membership  there  being 
members  of  this  church.  The  present  membership  of  the  church  is  two  hun- 
dred and  ten. 



As  a  branch  of  the  Audubon  Presbyterian  church,  an  organization  was 
effected  at  Old  Hamlin  in  1893,  J-  T.  Bell,  D.  L.  Thomas  and  W.  D.  Stanley 
being  largely  instrumental  in  the  movement,  as,  on  account  of  the  distance 
to  Audubon,  they  were  not  able  to  attend  worship  regularly.  In  the  same 
year  a  neat  church,  twenty-eight  by  thirty-six  feet  in  size,  was  built,  at  a  cost 
of  about  one  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  Services  were  held  and  also  a 
Sunday  school  conducted  for  a  number  of  years,  the  following  doing  pastoral 
work:  Rev.  E.  Dickinson,  Rev.  J.  A.  Cahill,  Rev.  J.  F.  Hinkhouse,  Rev.  J. 
T.  Ragan,  Rev.  W.  Graham,  Rev.  Hamilton,  Rev.  Samuel  Boyce,  Rev.  Paul 
Nailor,  Rev.  Montgomery,  Rev.  Coneybeare,  Rev.  Archie  Mitchell.  Since 
1909  there  has  been  no  pastor  and  no  services.  The  building  has  recently 
been  sold  and  removed. 


There  are  two  United  Brethren  churches  in  the  county.  One  is  located 
at  Gray  and  the  other  at  the  northeast  corner  of  section  23,  Cameron  town- 
ship, both  comprising  one  circuit,  with  one  pastor. 

GRAY  U.   B.   CHURCH. 

The  society  at  Gray  was  organized  in  1889,  with  twenty-one  charter 
members.  The  church  edifice,  erected  in  1890,  is  twenty-eight  by  thirty-six 
feet  in  size,  and  cost  approximately  one  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  The 
present  membership  is  fifty-one.  The  following  have  served  as  pastors  of 
this  church :  Revs.  N.  F.  Hicks,  A.  J.  Patterson,  J.  H.  Young,  H.  M.  Potter, 
Rev.  Wickwire,  L.  Nichols,  J.  M.  Harper,  J.  L.  Hayden,  G.  N.  Porter,  G.  E. 
Bertch,  H.  G.  Hicks,  L.  A.  Fleming,  H.  A.  Hayes,  C.  J.  Stark,  G.  N.  Arnold, 
A.  H.  McVey,  F.  M.  Boyd  and  J.  A.  Mitchell,  who  is  the  present  pastor. 


EDEN    VALLEY    U.    B.    CHURCH. 

The  Eden  Valley  United  Brtehren  church  is  located  at  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  23,  Cameron  township,  and  was  named  by  T.  J.  Sheley. 
The  class  was  organized  about  1883.  and  among  the  early  members  were 
Joshua  Rodgers  and  wife,  Myrtle  Rodgers,  James  Kilpatrick  and  wife,  W. 
R.  Neitzel  and  wife,  William  Ballou  and  wife  and  William  Pangborn  and 
wife.  Not  one  of  these  charter  members  is  now  living.  Services  were  held 
in  Sands'  school  house  until  the  erection  of  the  present  church  building,  in 
1 90 1,  during  the  pastorate  of  the  Rev.  G.  E.  Bertch.  The  size  of  the  build- 
ing is  tw^enty-eight  by  thirty-six  feet,  with  vestibule  and  spire,  and  the 
cost  was  one  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  Sunday  school  is  held  each 
Sunday,  followed  by  preaching.  The  present  membership  is  about  forty,  and 
the  pastor  in  charge  is  Rev.  J.  A.  Mitchell.  The  list  of  pastors  who  have 
served  the  charge  is  the  same  as  the  Gray  list,  is  being  a  part  of  the  Gray 
circuit.  This  church  is  well  located  and  occupies  a  splendid  field  for  active 
Christian  work. 


In  1880  Rev.  J.  H.  Yaggy  came  to  Audubun  county  and  purchased  a 
tract  of  land  in  Douglas  township.  Through  Rev.  Yaggy's  influence,  the 
Chicago,  Rock  Island  &  Pacific  Railroad  Company  donated  forty  acres  of 
land  adjoining  his,  to  the  Evangelical  Association  for  church  purposes.  A 
number  of  families,  members  of  the  Evangelical  Association,  having  settled 
near,  the  Audubon  mission  was  formed.  Pleasant  Hill  class  being  one  point 
and  Rev.  Yaggy  preaching  the  first  sermon.  Fairview  class,  two  miles  south- 
west of  Audubon,  was  organized  on  July  2,  1882,  and  at  the  end  of  that 
year  the  pastor  reported  a  membership  of  thirty-seven,  and  fifty  members  of 
the  mission. 

During  that  year  services  were  also  held  at  Melville  Center  and  at 
Morlands  school  house,  one  mile  south  of  Viola  Center,  also  at  Winter's 
school  house.  In  1883  Rev.  J.  W.  Hamilton  came  as  pastor.  During  that 
year  Fairview  class  was  moved  two  miles  west,  and  the  class  thereafter 
known  as  the  Pleasant  Hill  class;  a  new  class  was  organized  at  Hamlin. 

Rev.  G.  F.  Heilman  was  assigned  as  pastor  in  1884  and  returned  in 
1885.  During  this  year  a  new  appointment  was  taken  up,  being  the  Aikman 
school  house  in  Lincoln  township.  Rev.  J.  H.  Yaggy,  who  was  then  presid- 
ing elder,  moved  to  Audubon.     The  net  gain  in  membership  that  year  was 

2l6  AUDUBON    COUNTY,,    IOWA. 

thirty-five.  In  1886  Rev.  C.  Knoll  was  appointed  as  pastor.  During  that 
year  the  congregation  at  Viola  became  too  large  to  be  accommodated  in  the 
school  house  and  plans  were  laid  and  money  subscribed  for  a  new  church. 
In  1887  R^"^'-  L.  N.  Day  was  assigned  as  pastor  and  served  two  years.  The 
Mt.  Zion  church,  in  Viola  township,  was  built,  and  dedicated  on  June  28, 
1887,  Rev.  J.  H.  Yerger  officiating,  assisted  by  Revs.  Yaggy,  Knowl,  Urbino 
and  Day.  Services  having  been  held  irregularly  at  Aikman's  school  house  in 
Lincoln  township,  it  was  now  taken  up  as  a  regular  appointment  and  in 
1888'  a  class  of  nine  members  formed.  In  1888  about  fourteen  of  the  mem- 
bership of  the  Mission  moved  away,  a  total  loss  of  one-third  of  the  member- 
ship, making,  above  the  gains,  a  net  loss  of  nine.  In  1889,  Rev.  J.  H.  Yaggy 
was  assigned  as  pastor  and  served  two  years.  A  new  appointment,  Highland 
Grove,  seven  miles  south  of  Audubon,  was  taken  up  and  a  class  of  forty- 
five  organized;  also  Lone  Willow  and  Diggs  were  supplied. 

In  1 89 1  Rev.  Arthur  Lyttle  came  as  pastor  and  two  new  appointments 
were  taken  up,  Hamlin  Center  and  Greeley  No.  4.  Excellent  revivals  were 
held  this  year,  fifty  conversions  reported  and  a  net  gain  in  membership  of 
twenty-three.  In  1892  Rev.  G.  F.  Heilman  was  pastor  and  Rev.  A.  W. 
Lyttle  assistant.  Pleasant  Hill.  Highland  Grove.  Terry  and  Easts  were 
detached  and  formed  a  new  mission,  called  Hamlin  mission,  both  being 
served  by  the  pastor  and  assistant.  Revs.  Heilman  and  Lyttle  were  again 
assigned  to  the  work  in  1893  and  had  a  large  increase  of  membership  at  ^It. 
Zion  and  Aikmans.  New  appointments.  Prairie  and  Swaney  school  house, 
were  taken  up.  In  1894  Rev.  Heilman  was  again  assigned  as  pastor.  Mt. 
Zion  was  detached  and  Pleasant  Hill  added  and  the  town  of  Audubon  taken 
up  as  a  new  appointment. 


The  Audubon  mission  of  the  Evangelical  Association,  having  long  had 
an  organization  doing  Christian  work  around  Audubon,  but  having  no 
organization  in  the  town,  in  1894  it  was  thought  expedient  to  organize  a 
class  in  town,  which  was  done  with  the  following  charter  members :  Joseph 
Kopp,  Louisa  Kopp,  Mrs.  G.  W.  Hoover  and  J.  W.  Richards.  A  building 
committee,  consisting  of  Rev.  J.  H.  Yaggy,  Rev.  W.^  R.  Astleford.  J.  Kopp, 
John  Ott,  Charles  Evans  and  Rev.  G.  F.  Heilman,  was  appointed  and  the 
work  of  building  a  church  at  once  began.  On  September  3.  of  that  year,  a 
comfortable  church,  with  a  seating  capacity  of  two  hundred  and  costing  two 
thousand  dollars,  was  dedicated,  free  from  debt. 

AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA.  21 7 

In  1895  the  charge  was  served  by  Rev.  L.  N.  Day,,  alternate  Sundays; 
when  away  attending  district  work,  R.  H.  Lint,  G.  M.  Thorp,  W.  R.  Astle- 
ford  and  W.  C.  Lang  snppHed.  Rev.  Day  was  returned  for  the  years  1896 
and  1897,  with  Rev.  M.  J.  Conner  as  assistant.  During  this  year  a  comfort- 
able parsonage  was  erected,  adjoining  the  church,  and  made  ready  for  occu- 
pancy by  Rev.  G.  L.  Wilson,  who  served  as  pastor  for  the  station  in  1898. 
In  1899  Rev.  L.  J.  U.  Smay  served  as  pastor,  when  Mt.  Zion  was  again 
attached  to  the  charge.  In  1900  Rev.  M.  J.  Conner  came  as  pastor  and  good 
revivals  were  held  at  Audubon,  Fairview  and  Pleasant  Hill. 

In  1 90 1  Rev.  Conner,  having  been  returned,  a  good-sized  front  was 
built  to  the  parsonage,  the  old  one  forming  a  dining  room  and  kitchen.     In 

1902,  also  in  1903,  Rev.  Conner  w^as  returned.  In  the  latter  year  Fairview, 
in  Douglas  township,  was  discontinued  and  Champion  Hill  added.  Rev. 
C.  D.  Wendel  came  as  pastor  in  1905  and  served  until  1907.  In  1908  Rev. 
C.  H.  Schlesselman  was  assigned  and  served  during  1909  and  1910.  Rev. 
J.  C.  Schwab  was  pastor  in  1911-1912  and  1913.  In  1914  Rev.  Clinton  F. 
Smith  was  assigned  and  is  the  present  pastor.  He  also  serves  the  church  at 
Ross,  the  two  constituting  the  Audubon  circuit. 

The  present  membership  is  sixty-five  and  the  church  is  stronger  today 
than  ever  before,  both  in  ability  as  workers  and  financially.  A  good  Sunday 
school  and  a  strong  Young  People's  Society  are  supported.  Mrs.  Lois  G. 
Stuart  remembered  this  church  in  her  will  to  the  amount  of  one  thousand 


Friedmans  Evangelical  church,  at  Ross,  was  organized  in  March,  1900, 
with  the  following  charter  members :  Rev.  A.  Raecker,  Chris  Bauer,  Will- 
iam Weiderstein,  John  Nakies,  John  Koenig.  Charles  Heuss,  William  Deist, 
William  Lhrenkransz,  Christ  Mack  and  Egbert  Drussel.  They  erected  a 
church  edifice  the  same  year,  with  a  seating  capacity  of  one  hundred  and  fifty, 
at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  The  present  membership  is 

Those  who  have  served  as  pastors  are:     1899- 1900,  A.  Roecker;  1901- 

1903,  H.  J.  Faust;  1904-1906,  M.  J.  Knolls;  1907-1908,  E.  C.  Granner; 
1909-1910,  R.  J.  Simon;  1911-1914,  O.  Mehnert.  The  present  pastor  is  Rev. 
Clinton  F.  Smith.  The  services  are  held  in  the  German  language,  excepting 
that  every  two  weeks,  at  night,  the  Rev.  C.  L.  Fuller,  from  Mt.  Zion,  preaches 
in  English  language. 



Mt.  Zion  Evangelical  church,  located  in  section  27,  Viola  township, 
was  organized  in  school  house  No.  8,  in  the  year  1883.  The  leading  mem- 
bers in  organizing  were  William  Morland,  Nels  Olsen,  James  Yeager,  Jesse 
Snively  and  Harve  Gipple.  The  church  building,  a  frame  structure,  thirty- 
two  by  forty-four  feet  in  size,  was  erected,  with  a  vestibule  eight  by  fourteen 
and  spire  twenty-three  feet  high,  in  1887,  at  a  cost  of  two  thousand  dollars. 

The  pastors  who  have  served  this  church  are  the  Revs.  Knoll,  Day, 
Heiliman,  Astleford,  Throp,  Plummer,  Buttman,  Lehman,  J.  H.  Yaggy, 
Fickinger,  O.  M.  Yaggy,  C.  D.  Wendel,  H.  Alber,  M.  O.  Mehnert  and  the 
present  pastor.  Rev.  C.  L.  Fuller.  The  present  membership  is  forty-one. 
The  church  has  a  good  parsonage  property  adjoining  the  church. 


Fairview  class  of  the  Evangelical  church  is  located  in  the  school  house 
in  district  No.  4,  Greeley  township.  Having  no  church  building,  they  wor- 
ship in  the  school  house.  The  class  was  organized  in  1891,  with  a  mem- 
bership of  ten,  and  the  present  membership  is  fourteen.  A  large  portion  of 
the  time  this  class  has  been  idntified  with  the  Evangelical  church  in  Audubon, 
but  a  portion  of  the  time  it  has  been  connected  with  Mt.  Zion,  as  at  present. 

Rev.  J.  H.  Yagg}'-  was  instrumental  in  organizing  the  class  and  was 
its  first  pastor;  then  followed  Rev.  Astleford,  Rev.  M.  J.  Connor,  Rev.  J, 
Wirth,  Rev.  George  Heileman,  Rev.  O.  M.  Yaggy,  Rev.  C.  D.  Wendel,  Rev. 
C.  H.  Schlesselman,  Rev.  J.  C.  Schwab  and  the  present  pastor.  Rev.  C.  L. 


A  class  of  the  Evangelical  church  was  organized  at  Hamlin  Station 
about  1 89 1  and  a  church  building  erected.  Some  of  the  charter  members 
were  Robert  Campbell  and  wife,  D.  Brandstatter  and  wife,  H.  Young  and 
wife  and  J.  Skinner  and  wife.  This  church  never  had  a  large  membership, 
and  their  ranks  were  so  depleted  by  removals  that  it  was  found  difficult  to 
keep  up  the  organization ;  consequently,  it  was  decided  to  sell  the  building 
and  disband  the  organization,  which  was  accordingly  done.  The  building 
was  sold  to  the  Danish  Lutherans  in  1906,  who  have  since  occupied  it  and 
have  a  flourishing  membership. 



About  1 86 1  Elder  C.  P.  Evans  preached  several  times  in  the  school 
house  at  Audubon  City,  near  Hamlin  Grove,  in  Exira  township.  His  efforts 
were  rewarded  by  the  conversion  of  Hanna  M.  Hamlin,  Malinda  C.  Hamlin, 
John  Wilcox  and  Joseph  Wilcox,  who  were  then  baptized  in  Troublesome 
creek.  Elder  Evans  is  still  preaching  at  Arapahoe,  Nebraska,  at  the  age  of 
eighty-seven  years.  Benjamin  F.  Thomas  settled  at  Hamlin  Grove,  Febru- 
ary 20,  1864,  and  preached  occasionally  in  Exira  and  vicinity  until  1868, 
when  he  went  to  Missouri.  James  Wilson  settled  near  Exira  in  1865  and 
preached  there  several  years.  In  1866-7  Elder  J.  C.  White,  from  Adel, 
Iowa,  preached  several  times  in  Exira,  and  in  April,  1867,  he  baptized 
tv/enty-two  converts  and  formed  a  temporary  church  organization  in  Exira. 
The  meetings  were  held  in  the  old  school  house. 

In  1876  a  permanent  organization  was  effected,  with  twenty-two  mem- 
bers, and  Elder  J.  M.  Crocker  became  the  first  regular  pastor.  Melvin  Nichols 
also  preached  there  occasionally.  In  1877  a  church  edifice  was  erected, 
thirty-eight  by  fifty-four  feet  in  size,  at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  four  hundred 
dollars.  Elders  Crocker  and  Nichols  contributed  their  personal  labors  to 
the  enterprise.  This  building  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  June,  19 10,  and  a 
more  pretentious  and  modern  building  was  erected  the  same  year  upon  the 
same  ground.  The  present  membership  is  about  one  hundred. 

There  have  been  as  elders,  Joseph  Clure,  William  R.  Botts,  James  P. 
Lair,  W.  C.  Mitchell,  Charles  W.  Johnson,  Joseph  H.  Bell,  Fred  Anderson, 
Oscar  Hunt ;  deacons,  Joseph  H.  Bell,  Jesse  E.  Miller,  Burt  Anderson,  Charles 
Clure,  Samuel  D.  Ham,  Charles  McCord,  Nels  H.  Johnson,  Okey  Hendrick- 
son,  George  Milliman,  W.  W.  Hammer,  John  Stoner,  Ola  Christensen,  Roxy 
Huyck,  N.  P.  Christensen,  Charles  E.  Hawk,  John  Porter,  Hans  Nelson, 
George  Gore,  Hugh  Smith,  P.  Frederick,  Elmer  Heath,  P.  I.  Whitted ;  pas- 
tors, James  Wilson,  J.  M.  Crocker,  G.  W.  Hamilton,  J.  A.  Walten,  Charles 
A.  Lockhart,  J.  C.  McOuarry,  L.  H.  Humphreys,  E.  C.  Whittaker  G.  E. 
Nichols,  H.  A.  Pallister,  C.  A.  Poulson,  T.  A.  Manley,  S.  M.  Smith,  Charles 
.  S.  Linkletter. 


The  Church  of  Christ,  at  Audubon,  was  organized  in  1894  by  the  fol- 
lowing charter  members :  Mr.  and  Mrs.  W.  H.  Aldrich,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  T.  H. 
Beason.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  S.  J.  Burrows,  Mrs.  T.  V.  Belles,  Mrs.  Rachel  Cole, 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  John  Dawson,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  C.  Gates,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  J.  C. 


Keith,  Mr.  and  ]\Irs.  George  W.  Ellis.  The  church  edifice,  forty-six  by  forty- 
eight  feet  in  size,  was  erected  in  1900,  at  a  cost  of  five  thousand  dollars.  The 
membership  at  present  is  about  forty. 

These  have  served  as  pastors :  Elders  C.  A.  Lockhart,  W.  B.  Clemens, 
R.  Y.  Leeson,  J.  H.  McSparran,  A.  A.  Holmes,  H.  C.  Littleton,  W.  H. 
McCormick,  H.  Wilson,  I.  E.  Carney,  P.  J.  Pond,  Frank  Maples,  C.  A. 
Vonnay,  J.  J.  Ruppert,  F.  E.  Glendenning,  William  P.  Hauser. 

A  Young  People's  Society  and  a  flourishing  Sunday  school  are  main- 
tained. Carl  Xeilsen  is  the  present  superintendent.  The  following  have 
been  elders:  J.  C.  Keith,  W.  H.  Aldrich,  T.  H.  Beason  and  C.  Gates; 
deacons,  J.  W.  Landerman,  Carl  Xeilsen,  James  Hollenbeck  and  James  Gray. 
Mrs.  D.  C.  Ross  is  president  of  the  Ladies'  Aid  Society;  Miss  Mabel  Keith 
is  clerk. 

Rev.  D.  Y'.  Bryant,  from  luka,  Illinois,  has  recently  taken  charge  of  the 
church  as  pastor,  and  now  devotes  half  his  time  to  this  pastorate  and  the 
other  half  to  Planning. 

yirs.  Lois  G.  Stuart  also  bequeathed  this  church  one  thousand  dollars. 


The  Church  of  Christ,  at  Spring  Valley — later  known  as  the  Fiscus 
Church  of  Christ — was  organized,  February  5,  1882.  The  charter  member- 
ship was  composed  mostly  of  families  formerly  from  Indiana,  who  were  the 
first  settlers  of  that  neighborhood.  Their  names  were,  Adam  Cain  Fiscus, 
who  was  the  first,  and  continued  as  their  preacher  for  a  number  of  years; 
Wilson  Fiscus  and  wife,  Emma  Fiscus,  Albert  Fiscus  and  wife,  Eliza;  Isaac 
Fiscus  and  wife,  Melissa;  Elias  Fiscus  and  wife,  Harriet;  Levy  Fiscus; 
Sarah  J.  Fiscus;  Adeline  Fiscus;  Mrs.  Martha  Somerlot;  Mrs.  Ruth  Duling; 
Mrs.  Paulina  Wiley;  Mrs.  Eliza  J.  Rinehart;  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Spear;  J.  F. 
Conrad;  Henry  Hauser;  Nelson  Hon  and  wife,  Mary;  E.  J.  Arney  and  wife, 
Lucinda;  Hannah  Hilsabeck;  Mrs.  Ann  M.  Speas;  Jesse  Hon  and  wife, 
IMatilda,  and  Mrs.  Mary  Mitten.  A  number  of  these  people  had  formerly 
been  members  of  the  old  Bethel  Church  of  Christ,  in  Owen  county,  Indiana, 
and  others  had  been  members  of  the  Bethel  Grove  church,  of  Marshall 
county,  Iowa.  The  elders  were  A.  C.  Fiscus,  Wilson  Fiscus  and  Elias  Fis- 
cus; deacons,  E.  J.  Arney  and  Albert  Fiscus. 

Other  members  were  added  from  time  to  time,  until  a  large  congrega- 
tion was  built  up,  with  a  good  Sunday  school,  and  regular  preaching  services 
were  held  for  a  number  of  years.     This  was  the  only  organized  Church  of 


Christ  in  that  part  of  the  county,  and  its  membership  finally  included  almost 
the  entire  community,  people  coming  a  long  distance  in  their  farm  wagons 
to  attend  these  services.  Protracted  meetings  were  held  from  time  to  time, 
when  great  crowds  would  fill  the  school  house  at  night  to  overflow.  All  the 
spring-seats  from  the  wagons  would  be  carried  in  to  seat  the  women  and 
children,  the  men  standing  in  the  doorway  and  at  the  open  windows,  eager 
to  hear  the  preached  word.  All-day  basket-meetings  were  often  held  at 
some  grove  near  by  (a  church  building  was  never  erected),  and  always  drew 
large  crowds  of  people,  who  were  welcome  and  well  fed,  for  the  friendship 
and  hospitality  of  the  people  was  unlimited  and  their  faithfulness  and  loyalty 
never  questioned. 

Brother  A.  C.  Fiscus  served  this  congregation  for  a  number  of  years 
as  pastor  and,  as  the  membership  were  of  rather  limited  means  he  depended 
largely  upon  his  farm  for  support  of  himself  and  family.  Later,  came 
Brother  W.  N.  Littell,  who  served  for  some  time,  and  who  also  started  the 
first  store  and  the  postof^ce  at  Fiscus.  Then  came  Brother  Tibbitts,  of 
Botna,  Iowa,  followed  by  Brother  D.  H.  Reagan,  of  Indiana,  and  Brother 
F.  A.  Sheets,  of  Manning,  who  was  followed  by  Brother  C.  A.  Lockhart,  of 

During  all  these  years,  death  called  the  members  one  by  one,  to  cease 
their  labors  and  answer  the  call  to  the  Great  Beyond,  and,  like  other  country 
churches,  there  was  great  loss  by  removals.  Thus  the  membership  of  what 
was  once  a  prosperous  church  gradually  weakened  until  it  was  difficult  for 
the  few  struggling  members  to  keep  the  work  going,  so  that  all  efforts  finally 
ceased,  and  the  organization  was  abandoned. 

Of  the  charter  members,  there  are  but  four  now  living,  and  only  three 
now  reside  in  Audubon  county.  Elias  Fiscus,  one  of  them,  also  one  of  the 
elders,  now  has  his  home  with  his  daughter,  Mrs.  Speas,  in  Lincoln  town- 
ship, who  kindly  furnished  many  of  the  facts  for  this  little  history  of  this 
church  and  who  knows  the  history  of  the  county  almost  from  the  beginning, 
he  being  one  of  the  first  settlers  in  that  part  of  the  county;  also,  Mrs.  Ruth 
Duling  (now  Mrs.  Hilsabeck)  still  lives  in  Douglass  township,  and  Mrs. 
Eliza  Rinhart,  who  lives  in  Audubon. 

Those  of  this  congregation  who  still  survive  and  have  found  homes 
elsewhere,  no  doubt  still  remember  the  joys  and  sorrows  and  the  struggles 
of  the  organization  that  sprang  up,  bore  its  fruit,  brought  souls  into  the 
kingdom,  nurtured  the  children  into  manhood  and  womanhood,  saw  lover 
and  sweetheart  made  one,  saw  father  and  mother  pass  to  the  Great  Beyond, 
held  friends  and  neighbors  together  in  love  and  friendship,  made  the  com- 


munity  better  for  its  influence,  and  finally,  after  having  lived  its  life,  to 
slowly  fade  away  and  pass  into  history.  But  the  great  good  that  it  accom- 
plished and  the  influence  that  it  shed  abroad  in  the  world,  eternity  alone  can 

ST.  John's  evangelical  Lutheran  church  ( German). 

On  August  I,  1875,  a  few  German  Lutheran  families  residing  in  Audu- 
bon township,  Audubon  county,  and  in  Grant  township,  Guthrie  county,  met 
for  the  purpose  of  organizing  a  Lutheran  congregation.  Those  participating 
and  who  became  charter  members  were  Henry  Nesack,  who,  at  the  age  of 
eighty- four,  is  still  (191 5)  an  active  member  and  the  only  charter  member 
remaining  a  member  of  the  congregation;  George  Faga,  now  in  Chicago; 
John  ]\Iueller,  now  in  Adair,  Iowa;  Henry  Gerbol(;it,  Fred  Fienen,  and  the 
late  Henr}'  Faga. 

A  constitution  was  adopted  and  the  little  band  organized  for  effective 
Christian  work.  No  meeting  was  held  until  the  spring  of  1876,  when  the 
congregation  was  increased  by  the  addition  of  six  new  members,  and  from 
that  time  on  the  congregation  continued  a  steady  and  healthy  growth,  the 
present  membership  being  eighty-five,  a  majority  of  whom  are  heads  of 

Rev.  John  Horn,  at  that  time  of  Dexter,  Iowa,  was  secured  as  the  first 
pastor  of  this  little  flock.  Services  were  held  every  four  weeks  in  the  public 
school  houses,  or  in  the  homes  of  the  members.  In  1880  Rev.  Fred  Ehlers, 
a  young  man  and  a  graduate  of  one  of  the  Lutheran  colleges,  was  called  to 
take  charge  of  the  congregation.  He  accepted  and  proved  to  be  such  an 
energetic  and  faithful  worker  that  in  a  short  time  the  congregation  grew  to 
such  proportions  that  the  school  houses  would  not  accommodate  it.  In  1884, 
at  a  special  meeting  called  to  consider  the  matter,  it  was  decided  to  erect  a 
church  edifice.  Accordingly,  plans  were  laid  and  a  site  selected,  being  the 
one  where  the  church  now  stands,  on  the  east  side  of  the  public  highway 
between  Audubon  and  Guthrie  counties,  in  Grant  township,  Guthrie  county. 
A  church,  thirty-six  by  fifty  feet  in  size,  was  erected  that  year  and  has  been 
in  continuous  use  since.  A  few  years  later  the  congregation  built  a  school 
house  adjacent  to  the  church,  where  both  English  and  German  languages  are 

After  ten  years  of  faithful  and  successful  service.  Rev.  Ehlers  was 
called  to  another  field  of  labor  and  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  O.  Clocter,  who, 
for  nineteen  years,  continued  to  minister  to  the  flock,  sharing  its  joys  and 
sorrows,  and  adding  many  new  members  during  his  pastorate.     In  1905  the 


congregation  built  a  fine  parsonage  on  a  site  on  the  west  side  of  the  pubhc 
highway,  in  Audubon  township. 

Five  years  later,  Rev.  Clocter  accepted  a  call  to  Minnesota  and  Rev.  A. 
H.  Deletzke,  the  present  pastor  of  the  congregation,  who  at  that  time  held  a 
charge  in  Ft.  Dodge,  was  called,  and  has  very  successfully  continued  his 
ministrations  up  to  the  present  time.  About  two-thirds  of  the  membership 
of  this  congregation  live  in  Audubon  county,  principally  in  Audubon  town- 
ship, the  remaining  members  living  in  Guthrie  county.  The  present  value  of 
the  church  property,  including  the  parsonage  and  school,  is  about  ten  thou- 
sand dollars.    Regular  services  are  held  in  the  English  and  German  languages. 


A  Sunday  school  was  organized  in  school  district  No.  2  about  1899, 
which  was  changed  to  district  No.  3.  About  1903-5  a  church  society  was 
organized,  consisting  of  Mrs.  F.  W.  Hocamp,  Mrs.  Alonzo  F.  Littlefield, 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  John  Porter,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Henry  Baker,  Mrs.  William  Van 
Aernam.  A  large  church  edifice  was  then  erected  in  the  northeast  corner  of 
section  8.  The  pastors  were  supplied  from  Exira  and  were  the  same  as  at 
that  place,  Rev.  E.  C.  AVhittaker  being  the  first.  It  never  had  a  resident 
pastor.  Most  of  the  members  have  removed  and  regular  services  are  no 
longer  maintained.     The  present  membership  is  about  six. 


During  the  years  1870  to  1879  a  number  of  German  Lutheran  families 
having  settled  in  Douglas,  LeRoy  and  Cameron  townships,  but  more  in  Lin- 
coln township,  they  were  spiritually  advised  by  Lutheran  ministers  who  hap- 
pened in  this  vicinity.  The  first  Lutheran  minister  who  regularly  attended 
these  widely  scattered  Lutheran  people  was  Rev.  F.  J.  Oehlert,  of  Walnut, 
Iowa,  who,  from  April,  1879,  to  March,  1880,  held  regular  services,  admin- 
istered the  communion  and  baptized  their  children. 

On  January  2,  i88'i,  under  the  supervision  of  Rev.  W.  Mallon,  mis- 
sionary of  the  German  Evangelical  Lutheran  Missouri  synod,  these  people 
organized  the  Evangelical  Lutheran  Trinity  Church  of  Lincoln  township. 
This  congregation  has,  through  all  these  thirty-four  years  of  its  existence, 
stood  devoutly  in  practice  as  well  as  in  theory,  for  the  true  Lutheran  doc- 
trine, as  contained  in  the  Bible  and  preached  by  Dr.  Martin  Luther  and  his 
followers.  The  congregation  is  a  member  of  the  well-known  Evangelical 
Lutheran  synod  of  Missouri,  Ohio,  and  other  States,  consisting  of  2,978 
organized  and  1,127  unorganized  congregations,  a  total  of  4,105,  with  2,535 
ministers  and  professors. 


The  first  board  of  trustees  and  elders  elected  were,  Aug  Polzin,  Hum 
Polzin,  John  Polzin,  Hy  Borkowski,  Alb  Polzin,  Kienst  Sen,  George  Bald- 
sen  and  George  Schroeder.  Subsequent  to  the  work  of  Revs.  Oehlert  and 
Mallon,  the  congregation  called,  at  intervals,  Rev.  Fred  Ehlers,  of  Adair, 
Iowa,  on  June  20,  1881 ;  Rev.  Jul  Dickman,  of  Atlantic,  Iowa,  on  August  13, 
1882,  then,  after  a  vacancy  of  four  months.  Rev.  Anthon  Ehlers,  of  Elling- 
wood,  Kansas,  on  December  26,  1886.  He  served  the  congregation  with 
great  faithfulness  and  satisfaction  for  a  period  of  nearly  nineteen  years, 
finally  resigning  on  account  of  nervous  prostration.  Rev.  J.  P.  Guenther, 
of  Boone,  Iowa,  was  then  called  and  served  for  six  and  a  half  years,  when, 
in  the  latter  part  of  1912,  the  present  pastor,  Rev.  E.  J.  W.  Starck,  was 

The  membership  of  this  congregation  underwent  the  trials  and  hard- 
ships incident  to  the  early  settlers  of  the  county,  but,  true  to  their  aim  to 
serve  in  this  their  adopted  country,  not  only  their  families,  but  also  their 
country  as  good  and  law-abiding  citizens  and  Christians,  they  strove  with  all 
their  power  to  uphold,  build  up,  enlarge  and  strengthen  their  church  for  their 
own  eternal  blessing.  So,  on  January  20,  1884,  they  began  building,  on 
section  27,  Lincoln  township,  their  first  church  edifice,  a  structure  thirty  by 
fifty  feet  in  size,  which  was  dedicated  on  July  6,  1884.  This  building  was 
twice  damaged  by  storm.  The  congregation,  having  outgrown  this  building, 
it  was  turned  into  a  school  house  and,  on  the  2nd  day  of  June,  1901,  it  was 
replaced  by  a  larger  and  more  costly  church  edifice,  thirty-six  by  seventy- 
two  feet  in  size,  with  a  spire  ninety-two  feet  high.  The  cost  of  the  first  build- 
ing was  eight  hundred  dollars  and  the  new  one  about  five  thousand  dollars. 

This  church,  after  being  in  use  twelve  years,  was  razed  to  the  foundation 
and  totally  destroyed  by  the  tornado  that  laid  Omaha  in  ruins,  on  Easter 
day,  ]\Iarch  23,  1913,  nothing  but  a  glass  picture  and  the  bell  being  unbroken. 
But,  with  a  large  faith  in  God,  this  people  again  went  to  work  with  a  will  and, 
Phoenix-like,  there  arose  from  the  ruins  another  beautiful  edifice,  and  on  the 
26th  of  October,  191 3,  a  grand  dedication  of  the  new  church  took  place.  It 
is  a  more  costly  structure,  costing  nine  thousand  dollars,  with  inclined  floor 
and  very  finely  decorated,  and  equipped  with  furniture  to  the  amount  of 
two  thousand  dollars. 

In  1884  a  well-appointed  parsonage  consisting  of  nine  rooms  and  hall 
was  built  near  by  on  section  22. 

The  regularly  attended  school  of  the  congregation  is  taught  by  the  pastor 
from  September  till  June  of  each  year,  excepting  one  month  allowed  for 
cornpicking.     The  attendance  the  past  year  was  forty-seven  scholars.     With 


the  number  of  four  hundred  and  fifty  souls,  there  are  about  two  hundred 
members  and  the  voting  members  number  thirty-six.  Under  the  supervision 
of  the  Rev.  E.  J.  W.  Starck,  the  elders  are  Ludw  Borkowski  and  William 
Berg;  the  board  of  trustees  are  Aug.  Brown,  Alb  Rudwick  and  Aug.  Kienast; 
cashier,  G.  F.  Borkowski ;  secretary,  Otto  Rudnick ;  chairman,  Louis  Grote- 
keschen.  A  number  of  the  members  of  this  congregation  having  residence 
in  Audubon,  services  are  held  there  every  two  weeks  on  Sunday  aftrnoon, 
in  the  Danish  church.  All  worship  is  conducted  in  the  German  language. 
In  the  school,  both  English  and  German  are  taught. 


The  Evangelical  Lutheran  Friedens  church  of  the  German  Evangelical 
synod  of  North  America  is  located  in  Audubon,  having  been  organized  in 
1 89 1.  Among  the  active  and  leading  members  in  pushing  the  organization 
and  building  were  Christ  Hahn  and  Conrad  Burkhardt.  The  church  edifice, 
which  was  erected  in  1891,  is  fifty  by  twenty-eight  feet  in  size,  and  cost  two 
thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  The  present  membership  is  ten.  The  fol- 
lowing here  served  as  pastors;  Reverend  Strange,  Reverend  Herman,  Rev- 
erend Rounthal,  Reverend  Dollman,  Reverend  Seek,  Reverend  Jansen,  Rev- 
erend Braun  and  the  present  pastor.  Reverend  Gust  Tillmanses.  Services 
are  held  irregularly. 


The  Danish  Evangelical  Lutheran  church,  of  Audubon,  was  organized, 
February  9,  1909,  under  the  leadership  of  Rev.  G.  B.  Christiansen,  R.  D. 
However,  the  church  work  among  the  Danish  people  in  Audubon  was  begun 
about  1884.  As  most  all  of  the  Danes  belong  to  the  Lutheran  church  in 
Denmark  and  wished  to  continue  the  same  relationship,  the  work  was  taken 
up  among  them,  not  by  the  mother  church  in  Denmark,  but  by  men  whom 
God  called  to  the  ministry  in  this  country,  and  who  gladly  took  hold  of  the 
work  among  their  countrymen  in  the  United  States. 

Rev.  Mr.  Auker,  now  (1914)  located  at  Lincoln,  Nebraska,  was  the  first 
who  held  a  Lutheran  meeting  in  the  Danish  language  in  Audubon.  He  came 
here  in  1884  from  Elk  Horn,  Iowa,  where  he,  at  that  time  and  for  about 
thirty  years,  was  located.     He  served  the  people  for  about  two  years. 

From  1886  to  1888,  Rev.  C.  Falck,  now  (1914)  located  in  Jewell,  Iowa, 
but  who  at  that  time  held  a  charge  in  Oak  Hill,  came  here  and  held  services 



once  each  month.  After  some  interruption  in  the  services.  Rev.  A.  C.  Weis- 
mann.  from  Jacksonville,  Iowa,  came  and  held  services  from  1894  till  1902. 
Following  him  came  Rev.  Brede  Johnson,  from  Biithana,  Iowa,  who  served 
two  and  one-half  years.  In  1905  Rev.  G.  B.  Christiansen,  from  Ebenezer, 
took  lip  the  work  and  continued  to  preach  here  until  1909.  During  the  years 
prior  to  1909,  the  church  had  no  building  of  its  own.  but  held  services  in 
the  Evangelical  church  a  large  part  of  the  time.  Now  it  became  more 
thoroughly  organized  with  a  membership  of  about  one  hundred  and,  oppor- 
tunity presenting  itself,  bought  the  Baptist  church,  at  a  cost  of  three  thou- 
sand dollars.  The  church  has  a  seating  capacity  of  four  hundred. 
At  the  same  time,  the  congregation  bought  a  house  located  next  to  the  church 
on  the  north,  to  be  used  as  a  parsonage.  This  house  was  rebuilt  and  modern- 
ized in  1 9 14,  so  that  now  the  church  owns  a  splendid  property,  including  a 
fine  home  for  the  pastor.  In  November,  190S',  Rev.  J.  P.  Christiansen,  then 
in  Lincoln.  Nebraska,  accepted  a  call  here  and,  with  his  family,  came  here 
]\Iav  14.  1909,  and  has  continued  the  work  since. 

The  present  membership  is  two  hundred  and  seven.  The  Sunday  school 
has  ten  teachers,  with  sixty-five  children.  The  Young  People's  Society  was 
organized,  December  9,  1909,  with  twenty-eight  members.  The  present 
membership  is  seventy-two.  The  Ladies  Aid  Society,  which  was  organized 
some  years  ago,  number  forty-five.  All  of  the  services  are  conducted  in  the 
Danish  language  and,  as  one-fourth  of  the  population  of  Audubon  is  Danish, 
there  is  a  great  field  for  work. 


The  Ebenezer  Danish  Evangelical  Lutheran  church,  which  is  located  in 
Douglas  township,  was  organized  in  1895,  the  following  persons  uniting  m 
the  organization:  Nels  C.  N.  Schmidt  and  wife,  Peter  N.  Schmidt  and  wife, 
Ham  N.  Schmidt  and  wife,  Ham  Nelson  and  wife,  Peter  Andersen  and  wife 
and  Nels  Andersen. 

In  1896  a  church  edifice,  twenty-six  by  forty  feet  in  size,  was  erected, 
at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  In  1908  the  growth  of  the 
congregation  compelled  the  providing  of  more  room  and  an  addition  and 
improvements  were  made  at  a  cost  of  two  thousand  dollars,  the  present 
church  being  twenty-six  ])y  fifty-two  feet  in  size.  In  1904  a  fine  parsonage 
was  built  adjoining  the  church,  at  a  cost  of  two  thousand  five  hundred  dol- 
lars. Rev.  A.  C.  \\'eismann  was  the  first  pastor,  continuing  until  about 
1905,  when  Rev.  G.  B.  Christiansen  became  pastor  and  remained  with  the 
church,  giving  excellent  service. 


Reverend  Christiansen  is  president  of  the  Danish  Evangehcal  church 
in  America,  his  work  occasionally  calling  him  to  the  Atlantic  or  Pacific  coast. 
A  good  Sunday  school,  with  a  membership  of  about  forty,  is  maintained, 
also  a  Young  People's  Society.  The  present  membership  of  the  church  is 
thirty-two  families  and  over  one  hundred  and  fifty  members. 


The  Danish  Evangelical  Lutheran  church  of  Exira  was  organized  on 
]\Iay  19.  1905.  and  in  1907  erected  a  substantial  church  edifice,  at  a  cost  of 
three  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  This  is  a  flourishing  society,  with  a 
membership  of  ninety-eight.  Those  who  have  served  as  pastors  are  Revs. 
Thomas  Jersild,  James  K.  Jensen,  Jens  P.  Christensen  and  Peter  Rasmussen, 
the  present  pastor. 

The  Danish  Evangelical  Lutheran  church  of  Hamlin  was  organized  in 
1904  and  in  1906  bought  its  church  edifice  from  the  Evangelical  church.  The 
value  of  its  building  is  one  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  The  present  mem- 
bership is  one  hundred  and  fifty-two.  The  following  have  served  as  pastors : 
Reverends  Johnson,  James  K.  Jensen,  Jens  P.  Christensen  and  Peter  Ras- 
mussen, the  present  pastor. 

Immanuel  church  of  the  Danish  Evangelical  church  of  America,  located 
at  Kimballton,  was  organized  in  1897.  The  church  edifice,  which  has  a  seat- 
ing capacity  of  four  hundred,  was  erected  in  1904,  at  a  cost  of  seven  thousand 
five  hundred  dollars.  The  membership  of  this  church  is  one  hundred,  and 
the  church  being  located  in  the  very  heart  of  the  Danish  settlement,  is  favor- 
ably situated  for  doing  a  large  amount  of  good.  The  following  have  served 
as  pastors :  Revs.  C.  Sorensen.  J.  ^L  Gregerson  and  J.  Jorgensen,  who  is  the 
present  pastor. 


Bethany  Danish  Evangelical  Lutheran  congregation  was  organized  in 
1890.  During  the  same  year  five  acres  of  land,  located  on  a  beautiful  hill 
two  and  a  half  miles  northeast  of  Kimballton,  on  section  16,  Sharon  town- 
ship, were  purchased  and  a  church,  thirty-two  by  forty  feet,  costing  one 
thousand  five  hundred  dollars  was  built  on  this  land.  This  church  stood 
only  eight  years,  when  it  was  destroyed  by  fire  caused  by  its  being  struck 
by  lightning.  Neither  discouraged  nor  down-hearted,  the  congregation 
immediately  set  to  work,  contributed  liberally  of  their  means,  and  had  a  new 
church  edifice  built  upon  the  same  site  in  the  fall  of  the  same  year — 1898. 


The  next  year,  1899,  a  comfortable  and  convenient  six-room  parsonage  was 
built.  The  church  is  located  on  one  side  of  a  public  highway  and  the  par- 
sonage is  on  the  other  side.     The  cemetery  adjoins  the  church  grounds. 

At  the  beginning  of  this  congregation,  there  was  no  church  in  Kimball- 
ton,  so  that  a  number  from  that  place  belonged  to  Bethany  church.  Later, 
when  a  church  was  built  in  Kimballton,  these  withdrew,  but,  notwithstanding 
their  leaving,  this  congregation  has  made  steady  progress  and  today  numbers 
fifty-four  families,  comprising  three  hundred  souls. 

Rev.  Christian  Auker,  Rev.  P.  S.  Vig,  Rev.  Frimodt  Moller,  Rev.  N.  P. 
Simonson,  Rev.  Buda  Johansen  and  Rev.  Christian  Hansen  have  served  as 
pastors  of  this  church,  Rev.  H.  L.  Jensen  being  the  present  pastor.  This 
church  is  splendidly  located  for  doing  a  great  work  among  the  Danish  people. 

Oak  Hill  Danish  Lutheran  church  in  America  is  located  on  section  21, 
Oakfield  township.  It  was  organized  about  1895  by  a  number  of  Danish' 
families  who  had  settled  west  of  Brayton.  From  the  first,  this  has  been  a 
flourishing  congregation.  The  church  edifice,  which  is  twenty-four  by  forty- 
eight  feet  in  size,  was  erected  at  a  cost  of  two  thousand  dollars..  Among 
those  who  have  served  as  pastors  are,  Rev.  Skovgaard,  November,  1890,  to 
November,  1893;  Reverend  Gravengaard,  1894;  Rev.  N.  P.  Hold,  May,  1900, 
to  June,  1903;  Reverend  Jensen,  1903  to  1907;  Reverend  Jorgensen,  1908-9; 
Rev.  H.  E.  Raven,  1910-13.  The  present  pastor  is  Rev.  H.  C.  Strandskoo, 
who  has  a  catechetical  class  of  thirty-six  children.  The  pastor  of  this  church 
also  serves  St.  Johannes  church  in  the  northeast  part  of  Oakfield  township. 
The  two  churches  pay  a  salary  of  seven  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  per  year 
and  the  free  use  and  occupation  of  the  parsonage  and  eight  acres  of  land. 
The  present  membership  is  fifty  families  or  two  hundred  members. 

St.  Johannes  Danish  Lutheran  church  of  the  Danish  Lutheran  church  in 
America  is  located  near  the  northeast  corner  of  Oakfield  township  and  was 
organized  about  1905.  This  church  is  affiliated  with  the  Oak  Hill  Danish 
church  and  is  served  by  the  same  pastor,  Rev.  H.  C.  Strandskoo  being  the 
present  minister.  The  church,  which  was  built  in  1905  and  is  twenty-eight 
by  fifty  feet  in  size,  cost  two  thousand  dollars.  The  congregation  consists 
of  about  fifty  families,  or  two  hundred  souls  and  is  in  a  flourishing  condition. 


In  the  winter  of  1885-86,  Elder  O.  A.  Olson  came  to  the  small  settle- 
ment of  Danes  living  in  Indian  Creek  valley,  and  began  a  series  of  religious 
meetings.  These  were  the  first  religious  meetings  held  in  this  neighborhood. 
There  were  but  a  few  families  living  there  and  they  were  somewhat  scattered 


but  an  interest  was  soon  awakened,  the  meetings  being  held  in  the  small  and 
humble  homes  of  the  people.  Success  attended  the  labors  of  Elder  Olson, 
and  a  large  portion  of  the  community  accepted  his  teachings.  On  March  17, 
1886,  at  the  home  of  Peter  Axelson,  in  Sharon  township,  the  first  church  of 
Seventh-Day  Adventists  in  Audubon  county  was  organized  with  a  member- 
ship of  twenty-three.  About  the  same  time  occurred  the  first  baptism  in 
Indian  Creek. 

Only  four  of  the  original  members  are  now  living  in  this  vicinity,  a  num- 
ber having  passed  away  and  others  having  found  homes  elsewhere.  During 
1886  seven  more  joined  the  church  and,  early  in  1887,  another  seven  joined, 
making  thirty-seven  members  at  the  end  of  the  first  year.  During  this  year 
(1887)  this  church  was  received  into  the  Iowa  conference  of  Seventh-Day 
Adventist.  The  first  officers  were,  elder,  John  H.  Johnson;  deacon  and 
treasurer,  Nels  J.  Boose;  secretary,  Peter  Axelson.  These  have  all  passed 
away.  Jens  Sorensen  was  the  next  elder.  Many  years  of  his  life  were  given 
to  the  work,  and,  by  his  labors,  example  and  influence,  he  did  much  to  build 
up  this  church.  For  four  years  after  the  organization,  services  were  held  in 
the  Stanley  school  house,  but,  in  the  spring  of  1890,  the  first  Seventh-Day 
Adventist  church  in  the  county  was  built,  on  section  36,  Sharon  township,  at 
a  cost  of  eight  hundred  dollars.  Although  the  members  were  poor,  the  church 
was  dedicated  free  from  debt.  Since  that  time,  J.  M.  Peterson,  Chris  Juhl 
and  H.  C.  Peterson  have  served  as  elders.  The  church  has  steadily  grown 
in  numbers  and  now  there  is  a  membership  of  seventy-four. 

In  1909  an  addition  was  built  to  the  church,  to  be  used  for  school  pur- 
poses, at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  two  hundred  dollars.  This  school  is  sup- 
ported by  the  church  and  in  it  the  children  are  educated  in  hand,  mind  and 
heart,  the  Bible  being  a  part  of  their  daily  studies.     The  enrollment  the  first 


year  was  about  thirty.  After  two  years  of  successful  work,  two  years  were 
added  to  the  eighth  grades,  making  ten  years  in  all.  Miss  Anna  Johnson  was 
the  first  teacher.  Then  Miss  Marion  Johnson  was  selected  to  take  charge 
of  the  advanced  work.  Following  the  retirement  of  Miss  Anna  Johnson 
from  school  life.  Miss  Iva  Dike  filled  the  vacancy.  In  1913-14  Miss  Jennie 
Nelson  assisted  Miss  Marion  Johnson  and,  this  year.  Miss  Delia  Jensen  is 
teaching  the  lower  grades.  The  earnest,  faithful  and  efficient  efforts  of  these 
God-fearing  girls  have  greatly  assisted  the  young  people  of  this  church  in 
avoiding  many  of  the  evils  existing  today;  not  one  of  the  young  men  is 
addicted  to  the  habit  of  tobacco  or  liquor.  Thirteen  have  graduated  from 
this  school,  having  passed  the  examination  given  by  the  county,  and  three 
more  will  receive  the  eighth  grade  diploma  this  spring. 


Thousands  of  dollars  have  been  raised  by  this  church  in  tithes  and 
offerings  for  the  support  of  missionary  work  in  this  country,  and  in  China, 
Africa,  India  and  in  other  mission  fields  abroad.  In  1914  the  sum  of  three 
thousand  seven  hundred  ninety-three  dollars  and  fifteen  cents  was  paid  in 
tithes  and  offerings  for  foreign  fields,  besides  maintaining  the  expense  of 
both  church  and  school.  Several  hundred  dollars  have  been  given  for  churches 
and  schools  located  elsewhere.  The  ofticers  of  this  church  for  191 5  are: 
Elder,  A.  P.  Hansen;  deacon,  Henry  Andersen;  treasurer,  Lawrence  Axel- 
son;  secretary,  P.  C.  Knudson.  These  men  have  held  these  offices  a  num- 
ber of  years. 

One  young  lady,  Miss  Rose  Boose,  has  been  sent  from  this  church  as  a 
foreign  missionary,  and  is  now  laboring  in  India.  Others  of  the  young  people 
of  the  church  are  in  training  for  like  service.  The  work  of  this  church  is 
surely  equalled  by  few  and,  we  are  inclined  to  believe,  surpassed  by  none, 
taking  into  consideration  size  of  membership  and  opportunity. 

If  each  organized  church  in  the  county  would  do  a  proportionate  amount 
of  good,  according  to  their  ability,  what  a  mighty  force  for  righteousness 
our  churches  would  be. 

The  East  Exira  Seventh-Day  Adventist  church  was  organized  in  a 
school  house,  about  nine  miles  east  of  Exira,  on  April  21,  1900,  by  Elders 
E.  G.  Olson  and  William  Johnson.  There  were  eight  charter  members,  as 
follows :  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Chris  Juhl,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  M.  T.  Bascom,  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Chris  Berthelsen  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  J.  W.  Jensen.  Chris  Juhl  was 
elected  as  the  first  elder,  which  position  he  filled  for  a  number  of  years  until 
he  moved  to  Stuart.  Since  then  J.  \V.  Jensen  has  served  as  elder.  The 
meetings  were  held  in  various  school  houses  at  different  times  until  Februar}^, 
1913,  at  which  time  the  Christian  Science  people  of  Exira  kindly  consented 
to  rent  their  church  to  the  Seventh-Day  Adventists  for  Sabbath  services,  and 
whenever  not  in  use.  Meetings  were  held  here  for  one  year.  Then  the 
congregation  became  t6o  large  for  the  little  church  and  a  larger  building  was 
needed.  The  Congregational  people  then  kindly  consented  to  lease  their 
church  for  services,  when  not  needed  by  themselves,  and  the  East  Exira 
Seventh-Day  Adventists  church  now  meets  regularly  there.  There  are  forty 
members  in  the  organized  church  and  about  sixty  in  the  Sabbath  school. 

The  Seventh-Day  Adventist  church  in  Audubon  was  organized  on  May 
15,  1887,  by  Elder  J.  W.  Wiloby  and  Ira  Hankins,  the  following  being 
enrolled  as  charter  members:  Mrs.  R.  G.  Ping,  Mrs.  J.  N.  Brockway,  Mrs. 
George  Keene,  Mrs.  F.  Trude,  H.  Johnson  and  wife  and  Mr.  Martin  and 
his  mother.     The  first  meetings  were  held  in  the  school  house,  until   1889, 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  23 1 

where  the  present  church  was  built,  being  in  size  twenty-four  by  thirty-six 
feet  and  costing  one  thousand  dollars.  The  present  membership  of  the 
church  is  fifteen.  The  church  has  not  maintained  a  regular  pastor,  but  the 
following  have  served :  Rev.  J.  W.  Wiloby,  Rev.  Ira  Hankins,  Rev.  E.  G. 
Olson,  Reverend  Starr.  E.  G.  Olson,  W.  A.  Frederickson  and  Chris  Juhl 
have  served  as  elders.  A  sabbath  school  has  been  maintained  regularly,  Mrs. 
Rose  Brockway  being  superintendent.  Mrs.  Alice  Esbeck  is  secretary  of  the 


The  First  Baptist  church  of  Audubon  was  organized  on  April  i,  1881, 
at  a  meeting  presided  over  by  Rev.  D.  D.  Proper.  The  charter  members  were 
E.  F.  Fales,  Mrs.  C.  A.  Fales,  H.  M.  Talbot,  Mrs.  M.  Scott,  Mrs.  E.  J.  Ford, 
Mrs.  V.  Sands,  Mrs.  S.  Davis,  Rev.  H.  F.  Sharpmack  and  wife,  F.  M.  Van 
Pek,  Mrs.  Mary  J.  Van  Pelt,  Mrs.  Elnora  Howald,  V.  Sands,  Lsabel  Harris 
and  Mrs.  E.  M.  Funk.  The  first  deacons  were  E.  F.  Fales  and  F.  M.  Van 
Pelt;  the  first  clerk  and  treasurer  was  H.  M.  Talbot.  Rev.  A.  F.  Sharp- 
nack  was  engaged  to  preach  once  in  two  weeks  for  the  first  year.  The  first 
covenant  meeting  was  held  on  April  27,  1881.  The  church  did  not  advance 
rapidly.  Some  removed,  while  others  seemed  for  a  time  to  slacken  their 
former  zeal  for  the  cause  they  had  once  espoused.  Hence,  the  society  has 
but  little  history  to  record  until  October,  1887,  when  it  was  reorganized, 
embracing  some  few  of  the  remaining  charter  members.  In  September, 
1888,  plans  were  matured  for  the  erection  of  a  church.  Lots  were  purchased 
of  the  railroad  company,  directly  opposite  the  court  house.  During  the 
winter  of  1888-9  ^  good-sized  edifice  was  erected  at  a  cost  of  three  thousand 
dollars.  Rev.  A.  C.  Zollhoffer  was  pastor  when  the  plans  for  the  building 
were  made,  but,  in  October,  1888,  he  resigned.  He  was  succeeded  by  Rev. 
Richmond  A.  Smith,  under  whose  pastoral  labors  the  work  prospered  for  a 
time.  The  church  was  completed  and  dedicated.  After  Reverend  Smith, 
came  Rev.  Mr.  Parsons.  A  number  of  active  and  influential  members  moved 
away,  the  services  finally  ceased  and,  after  some  years  in  1909,  the  church 
was  bought  by  the  Danish  Lutheran,  who  still  own  and  occupy  it.  After  the 
discontinuance  of  the  services,  some  of  the  remaining  members  joined  the 
Christian  church,  some  the  Methodist  and  others  the  Evangelical  church. 


The  Danish  Baptist  church  in  Oakfield  township  belongs  to  the  Danish 
Baptist  denomination,  or  church,  affiliated  with  the  Danish  Baptist  general 


conference  and  the  various  connections  of  the  Baptist  denomination  of 
America  and  the  world.  It  is  located  five  miles  west  and  two  miles  north 
of  Bray  ton,  section  5,  Oakfield  township.  It  was  organized  in  1888,  with 
twenty-four  charter  members.  Among  the  old  members  yet  belonging  to 
the  church  are  Mr.  and  Mrs.  S.  P.  Kragelund,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jens  Christensen, 
Messrs.  O.  H.  Jacobson,  Nels  Hansen,  Chris  Jorgensen  and  others.  The 
church  grew  for  some  years,  had  large  congregations  and  exerted  a  good 
influence.  Later,  some  of  the  members  moved  away  and  others  live  at  some 
distance  from  the  church,  necessitating  the  taking  up  of  an  outstation,  eight 
miles  southeast,  in  Cass  county,  where  many  attend  the  meetings.  The  pres- 
ent membership  is  fifty-five.  The  church  edifice  was  erected  in  1893,  its 
seating  capacity  being  about  three  hundred. 

One  quarter  of  a  mile  west  of  the  church  the  parsonage,  a  six-room 
house,  with  barn  and  other  buildings,  and  five  acres  of  land,  is  located.  The 
value  of  the  property  is  about  three  thousand  five  hundred  dollars  and  is  free 
from  debt. 

The  pastors  who  have  served  are  Revs.  F.  M.  Andersen,  C.  Pedersen, 
C.  L.  A.  Christensen,  A.  P.  Nielsen,  C.  Andersen  and  the  present  pastor,  Rev. 
P.  C.  Larsen,  who  serves  the  church,  together  with  an  American  church  in 
Shelby  county.  Besides  these  pastors,  other  men  who  have  done  good  work 
are  Revs.  A.  C.  Nasby,  F.  Olsen,  H.  A.  Richenbach,  M.  A.  Wesgaard,  C.  H. 
Bobirg  and  M.  U.  Sorensen.  The  present  pastor  has  been  on  the  field  about 
two  years,  coming  from  Cuppy  Grove  Baptist  church  in  Shelby  county.  He 
uses  the  English  language  in  his  services,  not  only  in  the  American  church, 
but  also  in  his  two  out-stations.  He  has  held  rural  pastorates  in  Iowa  for 
the  past  thirteen  years;  is  vice-president  of  the  Danish  conference;  a  member 
of  the  Iowa  Baptist  board  and  of  the  Baptist  state  commission. 

The  majority  of  the  Oakfield  church  members  are  quiet,  devoted,  indus- 
trious people,  who  are  some  of  the  best  citizens  of  the  community,  and,  as  this 
church  is  located  in  a  good  field,  it  is  undoubtedly  doing  a  good  work  for 
the  saving  of  souls. 

The  Union  Baptist  church  of  Greeley  township,  located  on  section  23, 
was  organized  in  1882  by  the  following  charter  members:  Rev.  and  Mrs. 
Charles  Berry,  S.  S.  Berry,  Hugh  McClaren  and  wife,  Henry  Mapes  and 
wife,  Adolphus  Burtt,  Mrs.  Harriet  Burtt,  Mrs.  Hannah  Cox,  Mrs.  Margaret 
Huston,  Henry  Snowgoose  and  Maggie  IMcClaren,  thirteen  in  all.  For 
several  years,  meetings  were  held  in  the  school  house,  but  in  1891  the  present 
church,  a  comfortable  frame  building,  was  erected,  at  a  cost  of  two  thou- 
sand dollars.     The  following  have  served  as  pastors :  Revs.  A.   F.   Sharp- 


nack,  Charles  Berry,  Reverend  and  Mrs.  Mackey,  F.  Reed,  D.  D.  Downs, 
George  Hickok,  C.  V.  Bentley,  Charles  Sloan,  H.  H.  Cross,  L.  L.  Smith  and 
Eli  Loney,  who  is  the  present  pastor.  The  present  membership  is  forty-one. 
A  very  interesting  Sunday  school  is  maintained.  Also  a  Baptist  Young 
Peoples  Mission,  with  a  good  membership,  is  in  a  flourishing  condition. 


By  reference  to  the  history  of  the  Oakfield  Methodist  Episcopal  class,  it 
will  be  seen  that  religious  services  were  held  in  Oakfield  as  early  as  1856-7, 
and  also  by  referring  to  the  Oakfield  Congregational  church,  it  will  be 
observed  that  about  1866-8  the  congregationalists  organized  there,  and  later 
the  Evangelicals  also,  held  services  there.  These  services  were  held  in  the 
school  house,  where  a  Sunday  school  had  been  maintained  during  all  these 
years.  The  successful  continuation  of  these  services  and  the  Sunday  school 
during  many  years  can  be  credited  to  the  untiring  effort  of  Prof.  H.  G. 
Smith  and  family  and  J.  M.  Hill  and  family,  both  of  whom  have  passed  to 
their  reward.  It  was  reserved  for  the  Baptists  to  erect  the  first  church  edifice 
and  to  organize  the  first  denominational  church  in  Brayton.  That  the  Bap- 
tists should  have  secured  a  footing  there  is,  perhaps,  due  to  the  efforts  of  one 
man,  A.  T.  Horton,  familiarly  known  as  "Uncle  Ace,"  more  than  any  other 
one.  In  the  spring  of  1880  he  with  his  family,  removed  from  Marion 
county,  Iowa,  and  settled  about  two  miles  northwest  of  Brayton.  He  was  at 
this  time  fifty-eight  years  of  age.  but  "Uncle  Ace"  had  always  been  a  Bap- 
tist and  could  not  be  anything  else.  No  sooner  had  he  became  established 
in  his  new  home,  than  he  began  efforts  to  secure  religious  services  iii  the 
school  house  nearest  his  home  and,  although  there  was  no  formal  church 
organization,  religious  services  were  conducted  there  more  or  less  frequently 
by  the  Baptists  for  a  number  of  years.  These  efforts,  with  the  assistance  and 
cooperation  of  others  heretofore  mentioned,  crystalized  the  religious  senti- 
ment of  the  community  and  rendered  it  possible  to  cement  it  together  in  one 
organization.  In  the  winter  of  1893  three  Baptist  ministers,  Reverend 
Downs,  Reverend  Hickock  and  Rev.  Harry  Ferguson,  conducted  revival 
services  in  the  old  hall  at  Oakfield.  At  first,  their  efforts  were  fruitless,  but 
they  persevered  with  a  trust  in  God.  Ferguson  was  a  host  within  himself, 
talented,  tactful,  resourceful,  sincere,  an  excellent  judge  of  human  nature,  a 
good  "mixer,"  plain  and  unassuming,  the  friend  of  everybody.  To  the 
people,  he  was  just  Harry  Ferguson.  Incidentally,  he  was  the  pastor  of  the 
Baptist  church  at  Cumberland.  Iowa,  and  his  church  had  sent  him  to  Bray- 

234    '  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA. 

ton  for  a  season  of  missionary  work.  No  task  was  too  arduous  for  him  to 
undertake ;  he  never  became  discouraged,  nor  was  any  service  too  humihating. 
He  subsequently  became  district  missionary  and  afterwards  removed  to 
Oregon.  Together  with  his  two  assistants,  they  assailed  the  enemy  in  mass 
formation  until  they  penetrated  the  lines.  The  results  of  the  meetings  were 
many  converts  and  the  formal  organization  of  the  church.  Some  of  the  first 
members  were,  J.  S.  Harter  and  wife,  A.  T.  Horton  and  wife.  J.  G.  Chamber- 
lain and  wife,  O.  F.  Ide  and  wife,  Mark  Heath  and  wife,  W.  R.  Koob  and 
wife,  J.  O.  Cotton  and  wife,  L.  B.  Clark  and  wife,  I.  H.  Jenkins  and  wife, 
Mrs.  Fanny  Howell,  W.  Brinkerhoff,  Curt  Cotton,  Grace  Clark,  Maria 
Jenkins,  Frank  Jenkins,  Pearl  Jenkins,  May  Jenkins,  and  there  were  many 
others  whose  names  are  not  available  for  the  reason  that  the  records  of  that 
church,  like  the  average  church,  have  been  imperfectly  kept. 

A  commodious  and  comfortable  church  edifice  was  at  once  erected  in 
Brayton.  Soon  afterward  there  were  enrolled  about  eighty  members,  and 
the  congregation  was  in  a  flourishing  condition.  The  first  minister  called  as 
pastor  was  Reverend  Doane,  who  was  ordained  subsecjuent  to  taking  up  the 
pastorate.  Among  the  other  pastors  who  followed  him — and  there  were 
many — were  Reverend  Jewell,  Reverend  Brown,  Reverend  O'Connor,  Rev- 
erend Sloan  and  Reverend  Wilcox.  There  were  others  whose  stay  was  of 
short  duration.  The  church,  like  many  other  churches,  has  had  its  "ups  and 
downs"  and  some  of  the  members  think  that  during  the  last  few  years  the 
"downs"  have  predominated.  Many  of  the  members  have  died  and  others 
have  moved  away,  until  there  appears  to  be  not  enough  left  to  carry  on  the 
work.  They  have  a  fine  church  building,  free  from  debt,  recently  lighted 
with  electricity.  The  field  is  white,  already  to  harvest,  but  the  reapers  are 
few,  and  the  remaining  members  are  praying  that  the  Lord  of  the  harvest 
will  send  forth  laborers  into  his  harvest. 


The  First  Church  of  Christ.  Scientist,  was  organized  at  Exira,  on  May 
15,  1897,  with  twelve  members.  The  following  have  been  first  readers  in  the 
church :  John  G.  Gates,  R.  Ella  Hensley,  William  R.  Bruner,  Flora  B.  Hens- 
ley,  Isaac  Statzell.  The  church  edifice  was  built  in  1906-7,  at  a  cost  of 
seven  hundred  dollars.     The  present  membership  is  seven. 


Holy  Trinity  Roman  Catholic  church,  at  Exira,  was  organized  as  St. 
Boniface   church   in    1879.    the    following  persons   being   charter   members: 


John  Martes,  William  Bintner,  Peter  Tharnish,  John  Rieff,  Frank  Dorr.  The 
first  church  building,  a  wooden  structure,  was  erected  in  1879.  Having  out- 
grown this  building,  the  present  church,  a  brick  edifice,  eighty  by  forty  feet 
in  size,  was  erected  in  1902,  at  a  cost  of  ten  thousand  dollars. 

The  Holy  Trinity  school  has  also  been  connected  with  this  church,  but 
has  been  temporarily  discontinued.  The  present  church  membership  is  one 
hundred  and  seventy,  or  about  forty-five  families.  The  list  of  pastors  who 
have  served  the  church  is  Rev.  Father  Gaul,  Rev.  Father  P.  Daley,  both  from 
Atlantic ;  Rev.  Father  P.  J.  Morin,  Rev.  Father  Bernhard  Jacobmire,  Rev. 
Father  J.  J.  Moran,  from  Audubon,  and  the  following  resident  pastors,  Rev. 
Father  H.  J.  Zaiser,  May,  1894,  to  August  18,  1898;  Rev.  Father  Julius 
Farlenschmid,  August  18,  1898,  to  1902;  Rev.  Father  S.  F.  Wieland,  1902 
to  1907:  Rev.  Father  Charles  F.  Hundt,  1907  to  191 1;  Rev.  Father  James 
McDonald  (from  Audubon),  191 1  to  1913;  Rev.  Father  John  Mayer,  1913 
to  date. 

ST.  Patrick's  roman  catholic  church,  at  audubon. 

Early  in  the  history  of  Audubon  there  settled  in  the  town,  John  Holland 
and  family,  Nicholas  Roth  and  family,  John  Ballman  and  family,  J.  P. 
Thanish  and  family,  John  Martin  and  family,  and,  in  the  country  adjacent  to 
Audubon,  B.  Cunningham  and  family,  E.  Roche  and  family  and  possibly 
other  Catholic  families  whose  names  are  not  recalled. 

In  about  i88'i,  Rev.  Father  Gaule  came  from  Atlantic  to  look  after  these 
families  and,  at  the  first  meeting,  celebrated  mass  at  the  home  of  John  Hol- 
land. Later,  the  meetings  were  held  in  the  public  school  house.  Father  Gaule 
continuing  his  visits  every  four  or  six  weeks  until  1883.  In  the  spring  of 
1882,  under  the  direction  of  Father  Gaule,  a  church,  twenty-eight  by  forty- 
five  feet  in  size,  was  erected  on  the  brow  of  the  hill,  two  blocks  east  of  the 
park.  Soon  after  its  erection  the  church,  during  a  severe  storm,  was  moved 
from  its  foundation,  but  was  replaced,  with  much  efifort  and  expense. 

In  1883  Rev.  Father  Daly,  who  was  then  stationed  in  Atlantic,  began 
visiting  Audubon,  as  a  successor  to  Father  Gaule,  about  every  four  weeks, 
and  continued  to  do  so  for  six  vears. 

Rev.  Father  P.  J.  Morin  was  the  first  resident  pastor,  coming  in  1889 
and  serving  one  year.  He  was  followed  by  Rev.  Father  Bernhard  Jacob- 
meier,  who,  in  189 1,  built  the  comfortable  parsonage  just  north  of  the  church. 
He  served  three  years  and  in  1894  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Father  J.  J.  Moran, 
whose  pastorate  lasted  one  year.  In  1895  ^^^'-  Father  Mathew  Gleason 
came  as  pastor  and  rendered  the  church  six  years  of  very  acceptable  service, 


being  a  very  popular  pastor  and  building  up  the  church  till  it  became  neces- 
sary to  enlarge  the  structure  to  its  present  size,  building  an  addition,  twenty- 
eight  by  forty  feet.  He  was  followed  by  Rev.  Father  Loftus,  whose  pastor- 
ate lasted  till  1901.  During  his  time  the  parsonage  was  remodeled  and 
rebuilt  to  harmonize  with  the  ability  and  needs  of  the  parish.  Rev.  Father 
Flavin  succeeded  Father  Loftus  in  1901  and  remained  until  1904.  During 
his  pastorate,  a  two-story  school  building,  thirty-two  by  forty-eight  feet  in 
size,  was  erected,  east  of  the  church,  and  a  parochial  school  opened  under  his 
direction,  assisted  by  two  Sisters;  this  after  an  existence  of  some  years,  was 

In  1904,  the  present  pastor.  Rev.  Father  James  McDonald,  was  assigned 
to  the  parish  and  has  done  faithful  and  efficient  service  for  his  church  dur- 
ing these  twelve  years.  He  is  very  popular  with  both  Catholics  and  Protes- 
tants, his  congregations  being  large  and  harmony  prevailing  between  pastor 
and  people.  The  present  membership  is  fifty  families,  or  more  than  two 
hundred  members,  many  of  them  being  families  of  wealth. 


The  following  table  shows  the  number  of  churches,  their  value  and  the 
number  of  members  of  the  various  denominations : 

Bldgs.  Value.  Members. 

Adventists 2  $3,000.00  129 

Baptists   3  7,500.00  106 

Congregational   i  1,200.00  74 

Catholic 2  1,500.00  300 

Christian   3  1,000.00  160 

Evangelical   3  5,500.00  170 

Lutheran   (Danish)    8  21,000.00  1.407 

Lutheran    (German)    2  11,500.00  210 

Methodist   Episcopal    9  24,800.00  587 

Presbyterian   i  15,000.00  210 

Scientist  (Christian) i  700.00  7 

United  Brethren 2  3,000.00  91 

The  foregoing  figures  as  to  valuation  and  membership  are  approximate 
only,  as.  owing  to  incomplete  records,  it  is  impossible  to  be  exact.  It  should 
also  be  borne  in  mind  that  some  denominations  include  all  members  of  the 
family  in  their  roll  of  members,  while  others  do  not. 


The  number  of  church  buildings  in  each  township  is  as  follows :  Viola, 
2;  Cameron,  i;  Lincoln,  3;  Douglas,  i;  LeRoy,  10;  Milville,  2;  Gurley,  2; 
Hamlin,  2 ;  Sharon,  3 ;  Oakfield,  4 ;  Exira,  6 ;  Audubon,  i ;  total,  37. 

The  rise  and  fall  of  so  many  places  of  religious  service  in  the  county 
indicate  this  one  thing,  that  these  churches  apparently  have  not  been  able  to 
solve  the  ever-present  problem  in  all  denominations,  namely,  the  conservation 
of  our  rural  churches.  The  constant  ebb  and  flow  of  the  rural  population 
renders,  this  one  of  the  live  questions  of  the  day  in  the  religious  world.  The 
removal  of  a  single  family,  and,  not  infrequently,  of  one  individual,  from  a 
community  ofttimes  so  cripples  a  church  congregation  or  class,  as  to  almost 
compel  the  abandonment  of  the  work  at  that  point. 

Thus  we  find  that,  especially,  Protestant  churches  have  here  and  there 
been  compelled  to  drop  one-time  flourishing  points  and  take  up  new  points 
where  the  promise  appeared  good  for  greater  usefulness. 

The  proposition  to  make  the  rural  church  a  social  center  for  a  neighbor- 
hood or  community,  now  being  tried  in  many  places,  may  prove  of  great  value 
in  solving  this  problem,  but,  with  the  present-day  means  of  transportation,  the 
fleet  automobile,  with  ordinary  roads,  hardly  a  family  in  the  county  would 
be  more  than  a  half-hour's  ride  from  a  place  of  worship.  Especially  does  this 
appear  true  when  we  consider  the  churches  and  places  of  worship  that  are  just 
beyond  our  borders  in  adjoining  counties  and  where  many  of  our  people  hold 
their  membership  and  are  accustomed  to  worship.  These  places  are  not  men- 
tioned here,  as  this  history  is  confined  to  Audubon  county,  excepting  a  few 
instances  in  its  early  history. 




Daniel  AI.  Harris  and  Peoria  I.  Whitted  are  said  to  be  entitled  to  credit 
for  starting  the  first  school  in  Audubon  county.  At  their  suggestion,  in  the 
spring  of  the  year  1854,  they,  with  Xathaniel  Hamlin,  Richard  AI.  Lewis, 
Thomas  S.  Lewis,  Isaac  \\  D.  Lewis,  \V.  H.  H.  Bowen,  John  M.  Donnel, 
and  perhaps  others,  met  in  Mr.  Hamlin's  dooryard  and  agreed  to  erect  a 
log  room  for  a  private  school  house.  Mr.  Hamlin  and  Mr.  Bowen  agreed 
to  give  the  timber  in  the  tree  for  the  building.  The  Lewises,  Elijah  and 
William  Carpenter  and  Mr.  Bowen  cut  the  logs  and  Bowen  hauled  them 
with  an  ox  team.  The  people  assembled  on  a  day  set,  made  a  log  rolling 
and  put  up  the  walls  of  the  building  on  the  land  of  Mr.  Hamlin,  in  the  edge 
of  the  timber  on  the  west  side  of  the  road  leading  south  from  near  Hamlin's 
house,  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  distant. 

Some  of  those  who  performed  the  work  were  John  S.  Johnson,  Reuben 
Carpenter,  John  M.  Donnel,  Daniel  M.  Harris,  James  Eagan,  Walter  J.  Jar- 
dine,  W.  H.  H.  Bowen,  and  perhaps  others.  Air.  Hamlin  was  the  "boss," 
and  Richard  M.  Lewis,  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis,  William  Carpenter  and  Peoria 
I.  Whitted  were  axmen,  and  each  carried  up  a  corner  of  the  building.  The 
walls  were  rough  hewed  inside  and  chinked,  and  a  roof  put  on.  As  was  the 
custom,  and  to  encourage  the  workmen,  a  supply  of  "liquid  inspiration" 
was  on  hand,  but  tradition  does  not  mention  the  "bottle  holder."  Reuben 
Carpenter  gave  an  oak  tree  for  the  "shakes,"  or  long  shingles,  to  cover  the 
roof,  which  were  "rived"  by  him  and  the  Lewises  and  were  laid  on  by  Ham- 
lin, Whitted,  the  Lewises,  and  perhaps  others. 

A  half-sash  window,  with  ten  by  twelve  lights,  was  placed  in  the  north 
and  south  sides,  and  a  door  in  the  east  end  of  the  room.  Mr.  Bowen  got 
boards  at  Iraniston,  Iowa,  for  the  door  and  writing  desks,  the  latter  being 
formed  by  stout  pins  in  the  wall,  upon  which  boards  were  fastened.  The 
floor  was  made  of  split  basswood  logs,  called  "puncheons,"  and  the  benches 
for  seats  were  made  in  the  same  manner,  with  pins  for  legs. 


Miss  Ella  Northgraves,  of  Cass  county,  taught  the  only  term  of  school 
in  this  room,  which  began  in  March,  1855.  She  was  hired  and  paid  by  Ham- 
lin and  Harris.  The  pupils  were  Mary,  Hannah,  Rose,  Malinda  and  W. 
Allan  Hamlin;  Belle,  James,  Clarinda  and  Daniel  W.  Harris;  Nancy  Stan- 
ley and  another  pupil  from  Grove  City,  name  unknown.  Such  was  the  foun- 
dation of  school  instruction  in  Audubon  county.  The  Hamlin  children, 
except  Mary,  and  the  Harris  children  mentioned  are  now  living.  Hannah 
Hamlin,  now  Mrs.  Hawk,  and  Rose  Hamlin,  now  Mrs.  Thomas,  became 
school  teachers.  John  F.  Wallace  afterward  taught  a  term  of  private  school 
in  Nathaniel  Hamlin's  old  first  log  dwelling. 


In  1865  there  were  but  five  school  houses  in  Audubon  county,  viz. : 
one  at  Exira;  one  at  Audubon  City  (Hamlin's  Grove)  ;  one  on  section  27, 
Exira  township,  known  as  the  Frost  school ;  one  on  the  northeast  corner  of 
section  17,  Exira  township,  where  the  present  school  house  is  situated,  known 
as  the  Green  school  house,  and  one  at  Oakfield. 

The  following  year  there  was  a  new  school  house  built  at  Jobes,  on 
section  i,  Audubon  township;  one  near  Ballards,  on  section  36,  Oakfield 
township;  and  another  near  Beerses,  on  section  2,  Hamlin  township.  From 
that  time  onward  school  districts  and  school  houses  increased,  until  at  the 
present  time  ever}^  part  of  the  county  is  well  supplied. 

The  youths  of  Audubon  county  have  first-class  opportunities  of  obtain- 
ing primary  education,  and  the  high  schools  of  Audubon  and  Exira  furnish 
extra  facilities  for  pursuing  higher  branches  of  study. 


In  1866,  while  Benjamin  F.  Thomas  was  county  superintendent  of 
schools,  a  teachers'  county  institute  or  convention  was  held  at  Exira  for  a 
week,  conducted  by  Professor  Enos,  from  Cedar  Falls,  Iowa.  This  was  the 
first  meeting  of  the  kind  in  the  county  attended  by  the  writer.  It  is  tradi- 
tional that  there  had  once  been  previously  a  teachers'  meeting,  when  Robert 
N.  Day  was  county  superintendent.  Those  in  attendance  at  the  institute  in 
1866  were  Benjamin  F.  Thomas,  Clara  Barlow,  Malinda  A.  Norton,  Jennie 
M.  Norton,  Jennie  McCowan,  Susan  Ballard,  Carrie  Ballard,  Helena  Dela- 
hoyde,  Laura  Delahoyde,  Julia  Delahoyde,  Tryphenia  Hopkins,  Edna  Prior, 
H.  F.  Andrews,  Charles  H.  Andrews,  Van  Buren  Crane  and  probably  others. 


It  was  a  pleasant  occasion  and  highly  enjoyed  by  the  teachers  and  citizens  in 
attendance.  Among  the  teachers  conspicuously  absent  were  John  A.  Hal- 
lock,  Beulah  Sylvester,  George  A.  Dissmore  and  Juliette  Bowen. 

In  1878  there  were  forty-nine  school  houses  and  one  thousand  two 
hundred  and  five  pupils  of  school  age  in  Audubon  county. 


Charles  F.  Wilcutt  was  county  superintendent  from  1884  to  1889,  inclu- 
sive. He  had  been  at  the  head  of  the  Exira  school  several  years.  He  graded 
the  school  and  brought  it  up  to  standard  requirements.  He  was  an  impor- 
tant factor  in  establishing  the  county  school  system  on  a  modern  basis.  In 
1888  the  system  of  the  rural  school  districts  and  school  houses  was  com- 
pleted about  as  we  have  it  at  the  present  time,  with  three  thousand  two  hun- 
dred and  eighty-three  pupils  of  school  ages.  David  P.  Repass  was  the  next 
superintendent,  from  1890  to  1897,  inclusive,  another  model  school  officer. 
He  was  followed  in  turn  by  Robert  C.  Spencer  and  Arthur  Farquhar,  who 
were  also  able  and  efficient  officers. 

Miss  Ella  M.  Stearns,  the  present  incumbent  of  the  superintendent's 
office,  was  elected  in  1906,  practically  as  a  nonpartisan  candidate,  and  was 
re-elected  successively  several  times  in  the  same  manner.  This  unusual  com- 
pliment and  courtesy  suggests  her  ability  and  popularity  as  a  practical,  pro- 
gressive, up-to-date  educationalist,  and  head  of  the  present  county  school 

CHILDREN    OF    SCHOOL    AGE    IN    I905. 

The  enumeration  taken  in  1905  showed  the  following  number  of  chil- 
dren of  school  age  in  Audubon  county :  Independent  Districts — Audubon, 
542;  Exira,  242;  Gray.  64;  Brayton,  76.  Townships — Audubon.  377; 
Cameron,  234;  Douglas,  370;  Exira.  348;  Greely,  278;  Hamlin,  376;  Leroy, 
255;  Lincoln,  358;  Melville,  203;  Oakfield,  376;  Sharon,  504;  Viola,  247. 
Total,  4,850.     Illiterates  in  the  county,  97. 


The  following  table  shows  the  school  enumeration  for  the  year  19 14, 
in  the  independent  districts  and  in  the  respective  townships  of  Audubon 
county : 


School  houses.     Teachers. 

Audubon    2  16 

Exira i  9 

Gray i  3 

Kimballton    i  3 

Audubon  township 9  16 

Cameron  township 9  13 

Douglas  township 9  15 

Exira  township 10  18 

Greeley  township 9  15 

Hamlin  township 9  13 

Leroy   township 8  12 

Lincoln  township 8  11 

Melville  township 9  14 

Oakfield  township 9  14 

Sharon   township 9  13 

Viola  township 9  20 

Totals    __: 112  205 

Value  of  school  houses  in  191 5,  $141,950. 


Pupils  enrolled. 














In  her  report  for  the  year  1914,  County  Superintendent  Ella  M.  Stearns 
included  the  following: 

"Born  in  rejoicing  and  cradled  in  hope, 
Pointing  new  paths  for  adventurous  feet, 

Promising  power  with  the  future  to  cope. 
Whispering  low  of  the  summer-time  sweet 

Camest  thou  hither.     Now  nearing  thy  bier. 
What  dost  thou  leave  us,  Oh,  vanishing  year  ?" 

"In  accordance  with  the  time-honored  custom,  this  is  where  the  business 
world  is  getting  ready  to  take  its  annual  inventory  of  its  resources  and  liabil- 
ities, and  so  we  believe  this  may  be  a  fitting  time  for  a  brief  review  or  inven- 
tory of  our  schools. 

"Our  commission  of  education  has  recently  said,  'Among  the  greatest 


needs  of  rural  schools  of  the  United  States  is  that  of  better  houses.  Most  of 
the  older  houses  are  cheap,  ugly,  uncomfortable,  badly  ventilated,  poorly 
heated  and  lighted,  with  no  conveniences  for  school  work  and  many  with 
inadequate  and  filthy  outbuildings.  In  many  places,  abandoned  churches  and 
cabins,  no  longer  fit  for  use  as  homes,  are  given  over  to  the  schools — some- 
what as  out-grown,  out-worn  and  cast-off  clothing  is  given  to  paupers. 


"The  first  part  of  this  statement  will  apply  to  some  of  the  schools  in  our 
county.  The  'vanishing  year'  will  leave  us  with  some  'ugly,  uncomfortable, 
badly  ventilated,  poorly  heated  and  lighted  school  buildings  and  some  wrecked 
and  filthy  outbuildings,  that  are  both  a  physical  and  moral  menace  to  the 
pupils  of  those  districts.  \A'hile  these  are  classed  as  liabilities,  we  have  a 
goodly  number  of  resources  to  place  on  the  other  side  of  the  balance  sheet. 

"The  year  19 14  has  added  several  new  and  sanitary  school  buildings  to 
our  capital  stock  of  new  buildings  given  in  at  the  beginning  of  the  year. 


"School  houses  are  not  onlv  the  temples  which  we  erect  to  the  god  of 
childhood ;  they  are  the  homes  of  our  children  for  a  large  part  of  the  day, 
through  the  most  plastic  years  of  their  lives,  the  years  when  they  are  the 
most  responsive  to  impressions  of  beauty  or  of  ugliness,  and  when  their 
environment  is.  therefore,  most  important.  The  houses  should,  therefore,  be 
planned  and  built  not  only  with  the  feeling  of  reverence  with  which  all  tem- 
ples and  other  sacred  buildings  are  erected,  but  also  with  that  care  for  health, 
comfort  and  convenience  which  we  exercise  in  the  building  of  our  homes. 
It  is  economic  waste  of  the  worst  type  to  spend  annually  large  sums  for 
schools,  perhaps  larger  sums  in  the  time  of  children  and  then  fail  of  the 
best  results  because  of  bad  construction  and  poor  equipment  of  school  houses. 
It  is  worse  than  an  economic  waste  to  destroy  the  health  and  lives  of  children 
through  failure  to  observe  simple  and  well-known  sanitary  laws.  The  school 
improvement  leagues  of  some  of  our  states  have  taken  for  their  motto,  'For 
Our  Schools :  Health,  Comfort  and  Beauty.' 


"This  has  been  the  motto  taken  for  our  new  buildings  in  this  county  and 
has  been  carried  out  to  the  best  of  our  ability  in  several  of  the  older  buildings 


in  the  county.  'Health  and  Comfort'  have  been  looked  after  in  lighting, 
heating  and  ventilating  of  the  buildings,  in  the  heated  cloak-rooms,  in  the 
handy  arrangements  of  the  fuel  room,  right-sized  desks  and  proper  arrange- 
ment of  them  and  in  the  use  of  the  sweeping  compounds  to  guard  against  an 
undue  amount  of  dust  in  the  school  rooms.  There  are  also  many  schools 
using  the  stone  water  jars  and  individual  drinking  cups.  One  of  the  most 
difficult  problems  of  hygiene  in  the  rural  school  is  that  connected  with  the 
water  supply. 


"And  now  for  the  'Beauty'  side.  The  walls  of  several  school  rooms 
have  been  tinted  a  subdued  but  pleasing  color,  and  treated  with  a  flat  or  oil 
paint,  devoid  of  gloss,  washable  without  injury,  the  effect  of  the  decoration. 
This  has  been  done  at  comparatively  slight  expense.  There  have  been  put  up 
picture  rails  in  order  to  protect  the  walls,  if  for  no  other  reason.  The  school 
rooms  have  been  supplied  with  a  few  good  pictures  suited  to  the  age  of  the 
pupils;  many  of  these  are  worthy  copies  of  the  great  masterpieces.  And  we 
will  also  say  here  that  several  of  these  have  built-in  book  cases,  filled  with 
suitable  books  and  supplementary  readers,  along  with  other  suitable  furni- 

"In  many  other  districts  having  the  older  buildings,  the  room  furnace,s 
have  been  installed  and  the  school  rooms  have  been  made  cheerful  and  com- 
fortable. The  large  majority  of  Audubon  county  rural  schools  are  kept  in 
very  good  condition.  In  talking  with  other  county  superintendents,  we  have 
come  to  the  conclusion  that  we  rank  well  with  the  other  counties  of  the  state, 
yet  there  is  still  room  for  improvement. 

"The  town  schools  in  the  county  are  well  housed  and  equipped  consider- 
ably above  the  average  towns  of  their  size.  One  of  our  towns  is  putting  up 
a  new  school  building  which  is  modern  in  every  respect  and  certainly  reflects 
credit  upon  the  community,  school  board  and  city  superintendent. 

"In  listing  our  resources,  we  have  kept  close  to  the  physical  or  material 
equipment  of  our  schools,  but  there  are  other  resources,  did  space  permit,  we 
might  mention  such  as  the  home  credit  work,  the  spelling  contests,  etc. 


"The  work  the  young  people,  and  older  people,  too,  have  been  doing  in 
lyceums,  debating  clubs  and  country  life  clubs,  must  at  least  have  mention. 
The  work  for  the  coming  winter  has  already  started.     There  used  to  be  the 


husking  bees,  the  barn  raisings,  the  threshing  days  and  even  the  log-rolHngs. 
There  used  to  be  the  spelHng  bees,  the  old-time  'Hterataries,'  the  'heated' 
debates.  We  hope  to  hear  of  every  community  having  some  kind  of  organia- 
tion  this  winter  whereby  the  people  may  come  together  for  profit  and  amuse- 
ment. We  have  considerable  material  accumulated  in  our  office  just  waiting 
to  be  used  in  such  ways,  and  we  want  the  young  people  to  feel  free  to  come  to 
the  office  for  this  material. 

"The  school  house  door  must  swing  open  freely  for  all  who  would  work 
for  the  public  good  and  for  everything  that  may  contribute  to  community 
welfare.  Above  the  door  of  every  rural  school  house  in  the  land  should  some 
such  sentiment  as  this  be  written :  'This  Building  is  Dedicated  to  the  Service 
of  this  Community  and  to  a  Common  Cause  of  a  Better  Life  for  All.'  " 




Veritas  Lodge  No.  392,  Ancient  Free  &  Accepted  Masons.  Dispensa- 
tion dated  February  18,  1879.  Charter  dated  June  4,  1879.  First  meeting 
March  7,  1879.  Charter  members :  Ehas  W.  Beghtol,  Emerson  H.  Kimball, 
Arthur  L.  Sanborn,  Joseph  Snyder,  William  L.  Swaney,  A.  A.  Campbell, 
John  C.  Bonwell,  Robert  M.  Hubbard,  William  Wilde,  Chester  Wheeler, 
Cyrus  H.  Earhart,  Frank  H.  Burr,  Robert  G.  Sands. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  worshipful  master:  Elias  W.  Beghtol, 
Ethelbert  J.  Freeman,  John  D.  Holmes,  Marion  Johnson,  Andrew  F.  Arm- 
strong, Henry  W.  Hanna,  John  H.  Scott,  John  McKarahan,  James  L.  Rippey, 
Daniel  L.  Freeman,  A.  M.  Currier,  Joe  H.  Ross,  Walter  A.  Brainard,  Edward 
B.  Cousins,  William  R.  Smith,  Abner  H.  Edwards,  Halleck  J.  Mantz,  George 
Scott,  George  G.  Wever. 

Present  membership,  one  hundred  and  thirty-six. 

Amity  Chapter  No.  93,  Royal  Arch  Masons.  Dispensation  dated  April 
18,  1881.  Charter  dated  October  28,  1881.  Charter  members:  Thomas 
Chadwick,  Elias  W.  Beghtol,  Andrew  F.  Armstrong  Henry  Young,  Alpheus 

F.  Rogers,  Philip  Young,  Isaac  A.  Shingledecker,  Francis  M.  Jones,  Robert 

G.  Sands,  George  E.  Hastings. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  high  priest:  Thomas  Chadwick,  Elias  W. 
Beghtol,  Andrew  F.  Armstrong,  Henry  W.  Hanna,  Alexander  H.  Roberts, 
Charles  W.  DeMotte,  Edward  B.  Cousins,  Daniel  L.  Freeman,  John  M. 
McKarahan,  Frank  S.  Watts,  Abner  H.  Edwards,  George  W.  Preston,  John 
Weighton,  Charles  L.  Tramp,  Earl  Maharg. 

Present  membership,  ninety-three. 

Godfrey  Commandery  No.  44,  Knights  Templar.  Dispensation  dated 
April  15,  1882.  Charter  dated  June  22,  1882.  Charter  members :  Elkanah 
S.  Foster,  Isaac  A.  Shingledecker,  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman,  Elias  W.  Beghtol, 
Andrew  F.  Armstrong,  Henry  W.   Hanna,  William  H.   Scott,  Edward  B. 

246  '  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    U)\VA. 

Cousins,  Wilson  Biirnside,  John  Norris,  George  E.  Hastings,  Francis  M. 
Jones,  Alphens  F.  Rogers. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  eminent  commander:  Elkanah  S.  Foster, 
Ethelbert  J.  Freeman,  Isaac  A.  Shingledecker,  Daniel  H.  Walker,  Andrew 
F.  Armstrong,  William  H.  Scott,  Alexander  H.  Roberts,  John  A.  Nash, 
Edward  B.  Cousins,  John  B.  Doak,  Cyrus  H.  Earhart,  James  E.  Griffith,  Dan- 
iel L.  Freeman.  John  M.  McKarahan. 

Present  membership,  ninety. 

Audubon  Chapter,  Order  of  the  Eastern  Star.  Instituted  November  21, 
1888,  with  sixty-one  charter  members.  First  officers:  Mrs.  Gertrude  R. 
Nash,  worthy  matron;  Mrs.  A.  H.  Roberts,  worthy  patron;  Mrs.  B.  W. 
Brown,  associate  matron;  Eva  Freeman,  treasurer;  Mrs.  H.  W.  Hanna, 
secretary;  Mrs.  H.  W.  Wilson,  conductor. 

Audubon  Chapter  No.  421,  Order  of  the  Eastern  Star.  Organized  June 
15,  1908.  Chartered  October  29,  1908.  Charter  members:  Harriet  M. 
Bilharz,  Martha  A.  Bryant,  Christine  Christensen,  Agnes  Cole,  Lucile  Cole, 
Ada  Currier,  Drucca  Davis,  Nellie  Farquhar,  Alice  Layland,  Clara  E.  Mc- 
Leran,  Bertha  Musson,  Eva  Eearls,  Kathryn  Simpson,  Villa  Talbott,  Anna 
Tramp,  Nettie  L.  Ward,  Ada  K.  W^ever,  Emma  K.  Wilson,  Walter  A.  Brain- 
ard,  Daniel  L.  Freeman,  John  A.  Musson,  Will  R.  Smith,  Harper  W.  Wilson, 
A.  M.  Currier. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  worthy  matron  and  worthy  patron,  respec- 
tively: 1908-9 — Harriett  M.  Bilharz,  worthy  matron,  Daniel  L.  Freeman, 
worthy  patron;  1910 — Clara  E.  McLeran,  Arthur  Fanjuhar;  191 1 — Anna 
Tramp,  Adam  M.  Currier;  1912 — Nellie  Farquhar,  George  G.  Wever;  1913 — 
Etta  Kennels,  Joe  H.  Ross;  19 14 — Kathryn  Simpson,  George  W.  Wever; 
191 5 — Ada  K.  Wever,  Daniel  L.  Freeman. 

Present  membership,  eighty-seven. 

Aretas  Lodge  No.  396.  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows.  Instituted 
August  17,  1879.  Charter  dated  October  23.  1879.  Charter  members  :  Henry 
E.  Cole,  William  Mallory,  S.  B.  Johnson,  Samuel  P.  Rhoads.  T.  M.  Acres, 
George  W.  Myers. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  noble  grand :  Henry  E.  Cole,  Seth  Paine, 
J.  F.  Wells,  J.  W.  Rosenburg,  Evan  Davis.  Thomas  J.  Stafford,  E.  M.  Funk, 
Fred  A.  Buthweg,  Joseph  H.  Breniman,  O.  A.  Overfield,  George  W.  Ellis, 
William  Cloughley,  H.  M.  Stuart,  Andrew  J.  Bailey,  James  R.  Chandler, 
John  H.  Frahm,  Charles  T.  Tramp,  Thomas  J.  P'rederick,  Peter  M.  Sheafer, 
Peter  I.  Drury.  Melvin  Nichols,  Eugene  M.  Johnson,  S.  A.  Aikeman,  James 
H.  Baker,  Harlan  P.  Albert,  James  L.  Rippey,  John  F.  Consigney,  Henry  J. 


Cooley,  Henry  Rohrbeck ;  William  H.  Kelley,  Jr.,  Joseph  Dixon,  William  P. 
McLaren,  John  T.  Chapman,  John  Kennedy,  Joseph  Moody,  George  W. 
Hoover,  Roy  L.  Hibbs,  William  Hamilton,  C.  E.  Delahoyde,  Jens  O.  Christ- 
ensen;  Joe  H.  Ross,  William  Blohen,  O.  C.  Donaldson,  Harry  Parrott,  A.  H. 
Delahoyde,  J.  H.  Freedline,  William  A.  Thompson,  George  W.  Oelke,  John 
M.  Hite,  Charles  E.  Nelson,  H.  M.  McLuan,  Howard  E.  Kettell,  Jesse  Graves, 
John  A.  Graham,  A.  M.  Carrier,  George  W.  Dye,  F.  J.  Schwardt. 

Present  membership,  one  hundred  and  five. 

Allison  Post  No.  34,  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic.  Organized  March 
19,  1881.  Re-organized  May  4,  1883.  It  was  named  for  Capt.  Robert  Alli- 
son, Company  C.  Sixth  Regiment,  Iowa  \^olunteer  Infantry,  who  was  killed 
at  Missionary  Ridge,  November  25,  1863.  Charter  members:  Elkanah  S. 
Foster,  Seth  Paine,  H.  C.  Paul,  W.  P.  Roades,  Emerson  H.  Kimball,  D.  H. 
Walker,  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman,  Elias  W.  Bechtal,  J.  B.  Roades,  John  F.  Con- 
signey,  Henry  E.  Cole,  J.  P.  Gray,  B.  P.  Schovill,  Arthur  L.  Sanborn,  J.  C. 
Williams,  James  Pollett,  P.  H.  Anderson,  David  Adams,  John  Both,  Robert 
C.  Cobean,  Henry  Newmire,  C.  P.  Maple. 

These  comrades  have  held  the  office  of  post  commander :  Elkanah  H. 
Foster,  1881 ;  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman,  1883;  Melvin  Nichols,  1884;  J.  W.  B. 
Cole,  1885;  Clark  H.  Cross,  1886;  J.  Mai  Bryan.  1887;  Elisha  Baxter,  1888; 
Harper  W.  Wilson,  1889;  Henry  E.  Cole,  1890;  John  S.  Dennis,  1891 ;  Henry 
F.  Andrews,  1892;  Ed.  B.  Cousins,  1893;  Jo^^  E.  Sharp,  1894;  A.  S.  Culver, 
1895;  Abner  H.  Edwards,  1896;  G.  H.  Jones,  1897;  George  Agnew,  1898; 
Charles  Wilkins,  1899;  Hiram  M.  Talbot,  1900;  Joseph  Ridpath,  1901 ;  Mar- 
tin Smith,  1902;  J.  W.  Baker,  1903;  William  Lyman,  1904;  John  Ott,  1905; 
Daniel  L.  Thomas,  1906;  John  C.  Willson,  1907;  Clark  Wilson,  1908;  Lewis 
A.  McGinnis,  1909;  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman,  1910;  Wesley  H.  Jay,  191 1 ;  John 
N.  Brockway,  1912;  George  Agnew,  1913;  Anthony  N.  Detwiler,  1914;  J.  C. 
Fisher,  191 5. 

Audubon  Lodge  No.  164,  Knights  of  Pythias.  Organized  October  7, 
1886.  Charter  members :  William  Cloughley,  J.  W.  Rosenburg,  Seth  Paine, 
Harlan  P.  Albert,  Peter  Book,  H.  H.  Willis,  William  H.  O'Connell,  J.  A. 
Wheatley,  Edwin  Delahoyde,  Peter  W.  Ledyard,  Lewis  D.  Phelps,  Alfred 
L.  Brooks,  E.  J.  Smith,  W.  H.  McClure,  John  Intween,  Benjamin  F.  Howald, 
C.  H.  Colson,  W.  D.  Blackwood,  John  F.  Consigney,  Melvin  Nichols,  Hans 
A.  Christensen,  S.  A.  Aukerman,  G.  R.  Darlington,  John  A.  Nash,  Adelbert 
L.  Weaver,  Henry  B.  Herbert,  John  H.  Kate,  John  H.  Rendleman. 

Past  chancellor  commanders :  Harlan  P.  Albert,  P.  W.  Ledyard,  Will- 
iam H.  O'Connell,  John  A.  Nash,  W.'  H.  McClure,  Adelbert  L.  Weaver,  W.  H. 


Negley,  J.  A.  Wheatley,  Seth  Paine,  John  Weighton,  Frank  E.  Brainard, 
Simeon  L,  VanScoy,  Charles  Vail,  Frank  Fish,  Frank  P.  Rees,  Harry  D. 
Fish,  John  H.  Hosier,  Ed.  Dickinson,  Ed.  S.  VanGorder,  Robert  C.  Rice, 
David,  C.  Mott,  Orrin  B.  Train,  Fred  H.  Blume,  George  E.  Kellogg,  Charles 
E.  Breniman,  Arthur  Farquhar,  Peter  A.  Rasmussen,  Hans  Albertsen,  Will- 
iam J.  Hamilton,  Vern  L.  Culver. 

Present  membership,  forty-two. 

Audubon  Woman's  Relief  Corps  No.  38.  Auxiliary  to  the  Grand  Army 
of  the  Republic.  Organized  May  26,  1885.  Charter  dated  September  15, 
1885.  Charter  members:  Lizzie  Kimball,  Emma  Mathias,  Esther  Bryan, 
Maria  Needles,  Almeda  Nichols,  Fannie  E.  Talbot,  Myrtle  Cole,  Lydia  E. 
Rosenburg,  Rachel  Cole,  Alice  M.  Consigney,  Anna  Edmondson,  Sarah  A. 
Gardner,  Delia  Ott,  Sarah  G.  Cason,  Martha  Peck,  Mary  Mathias. 

Past  Presidents :  Emma  Kimball,  Alice  M.  Consigney,  Lydia  E.  Rosen- 
burg, Fannie  E.  Talbot,  Ella  L.  Bell,  Delia  Ott,  Lydia  A.  Chandler,  Eliza 
I.  Moyer,  Minerva  Cole,  Mina  Bartch,  Charity  Aldrich,  Agnes  Cole,  Mary 
Kraus,  Levina  McGinnis. 

Present  membership,  sixty-five. 

Charles  Stuart  Camp  No.  50,  Sons  of  Veterans.  Organized  October 
13,  1885.  First  officers:  Daniel  L.  Freeman,  first  lieutenant;  Charles  H. 
Rollins,  second  lieutenant;  Edwin  Delahoyde,  first  sergeant;  Wilson  S.  Kim- 
ball, cjuartermaster.     Daniel  L.  Freeman,  major  of  Iowa  division,  June,  1888. 

It  had  a  membership  of  fifty.  Capt.  Charles  Stuart  presented  the  camp 
seventy-two  breach-loading  Springfield  rifles  and  equipment.  The  camp 
was  disbanded  years  ago. 

Audubon  Lodge  No.  158,  The  Danish  Brotherhood  in  America.  Organ- 
ized December  17,  1902.  First  officers:  Peter  A.  Rasmussen,  past  presi- 
dent; J.  P.  Kilgar,  president;  Chris  Hendricksen,  vice-president;  Nels  Han- 
sen, secretary;  Hans  Albertsen,  treasurer;  Ed  Ruiss,  Rasmus  Rasmussen, 
Jens  C.  Christensen,  trustees;  Henry  Jacobsen,  guide;  Jacob  W.  Andersen, 
inner  guard ;  Chris  H.  Berg,  outer  guard. 

Charter  members :  N.  G.  Nelsen,  Anders  Lastine,  Knud  Fredericksen, 
Chr.  J.  Roed,  Ludvig  Gamrath,  Jens  O.  Chritsensen,  Julius  Rasmussen,  L. 
C.  Larsen,  Lawitz  Madsen.  Walter  Jensen,  Rasmus  Sorensen,  A.  J.  Jensen, 
Chris  Olsen,  Steffen  Mathisen,  Niels  Top,  Lars  O.  Petersen,  Mathias  John- 
son, Nels  P.  Petersen. 

These  have  been  president:  Peter  A.  Rasmussen,  J.  P.  Kelgar,  Chris 
Hendricksen,  Jas  Lang,  Rasmus  Rasmussen,  Peter  Mathisen,  Jacob  M.  Ander- 


sen,  Haas  Albertsen,  Lars  C.  Christoffersen,  Lars  O.  Petersen,  Lars  J. 

Present  membership,  seventy-eight. 

Freja  Lodge  No.  97,  Danish  Sisters  Society  in  America.  Date  of 
charter,  February  22,  1907.  First  officers:  Anna  M.  Vosmos,  ex-presi- 
dent; Neorline  Kellogg,  president;  Christine  Berg,  vice-president;  Jakoline 
C.  Rasmussen,  secretary;  Kirstine  A.  Christensen,  treasurer;  Kirstine  M. 
Christensen,  Anna  AL  Olsen,  Celia  M.  Johnsen,  trustees;  Lina  Albertsen, 
marshal;  Kirstine  H.  Petersen,  imier  guard;  Kirstine  M.  Knudsen,  outer 

Present  membership,  twenty-six. 


Audubon  Lodge  No.  217,  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows.  The 
oldest  lodge  in  Audubon  county.  Organized  at  Louisville,  Iowa,  October 
19,  1871.  Removed  to  Oakfield,  Iowa,  1874,  and  in  1882  to  Brayton,  Iowa. 
Charter  members:  Daniel  W.  Miller,  Orris  C.  Keith,  Francis  J.  Shrauger, 
Richard  Gault,  J.  F.  Low,  John  B.  Connrardy. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  noble  grand:  Daniel  W.  Miller,  Francis 
J.  Shranger,  Orris  C.  Keith,  Isaac  V.  D.  Lewis,  Giles  N.  Jones,  Samuel 
Minser,  John  B.  Conrardy,  John  T.  Jenkins,  Joseph  Doner,  Peter  F.  Howell, 
Isaac  H.  Jenkins,  C.  Adelbert  Heath,  Horace  M.  Bartlett,  Thomas  J.  Essing- 
ton,  Joseph  Reynolds,  Charles  L.  Bison,  James  L.  x\nderson,  Erwin  A.  Jones, 
Walter  Brown,  Evelyn  Wood,  Ward  B.  Smith,  William  R.  Koob,  Ed.  Cot- 
ton, Sidney  McGuire,  Jacob  P.  Bendixen,  Ludwig  F.  Miller,  Hans  Nymand, 
Jacob  Blom,  Silas  B.  Clark,  Lewis  P.  Rasmussen,  John  Lorah,  Samuel  B. 
Green,  Hans  Hansen,  Peter  Beck,  Warren  G.  Chase,  John  W.  Cannon, 
N.  M.  Nelson. 

Present  membership,  forty-eight. 

Brayton  Lodge  No.  567,  Daughters  of  Rebekah.  Chartered  February 
14,  1907.  Charter  members:  Horace  W.  Bartlet  and  wife  and  daughter, 
Mildred;  Charles  L.  Bisom  and  wife  and  daughter,  Imo;  Hans  Hansen  and 
wife  and  daughter,  Alma;  Erwin  A.  Jones  and  wife;  Samuel  B.  Green  and 
wife;  Lewis  P.  Rasmussen  and  wife;  Ward  P.  Smith  and  wife;  Clyde 
Bowen,  Evelyn  Wood,  H.  S.  Burton,  Peter  F.  Howell. 

These  ladies  have  held  the  office  of  noble  grand:  Jeanette  Bartlett, 
Mrs.  Charles  L.  Bisom,  Mrs.  Lewis  P.  Rasmussen,  Ray  Miller,  Vivian  Bart- 


lett,  Ardine  Bartlett,  Gladys  Chamberlain,  Ethel  Bisom,  ]\Irs.  B.  M.  Gross, 
Minnie  Aliller.  Airs.  Warren  G.  Chase,  Edna  Hansen. 

Present  membership,  forty-one. 

Brayton  Camp  No.  2900,  Modern  Woodmen  of  America.  Charter 
dated  April  17,  1895.  Charter  members:  Jacob  P.  Bendixen,  Hans  Xymand, 
Peter  C.  Knudsen,  Jacob  Blom,  Jesse  Nymand,  William  R.  Koob,  David  A. 
Carpenter,.  P.  C.  Petersen,  Ludwig  F.  Miller,  Peter  J.  Hansen,  John  A. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  venerable  consul :  Jacob  P.  Bendixen, 
William  R.  Koob,  Thomas  J.  McGovern,  Daniel  W.  Chamberlin,  Ray  G. 
Chamberlin,  Raymond  Miller,  John  A.  Johnson,  Ludwig  F.  Miller,  Howard 
M.  Parrott,  and  others. 

Present  membership,  one  hundred  and  twenty. 

Danish  Brotherhood  Lodge  No.  297.  Organized  September  i.  1913. 
Officers:  Peter  Beck,  president;  Hans  Anderson,  secretary;  Martin  L. 
Beck,  cashier;  Peter  Christensen,  R.  Nielson  and  Chr.   Hansen,  trustees. 

Present  membership,  thirty-two. 


Exodus  Lodge  No.  342,  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons.  Charter 
dated  June  3.  1875.  Thirteen  charter  members.  First  officers:  William 
J.  Harris,  worshipful  master;  Thomas  Walker,  senior  warden;  Edwin  C. 
Wadsworth.  junior  warden;  Alonzo  L.  Campbell,  secretary;  Appolonius 
B.  Houston,  treasurer;  H.  Ransford,  senior  deacon;  James  P.  Lair,  junior 
deacon  ;  George  Colph,  tyler. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  worshipful  master:  \\"illiam  J.  Harris, 
Thomas  ^^'alker,  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman.  George  Hardenbrook,  Francis  J. 
Shrauger.  W.  \\'.  Sickles,  Erwin  \\'atson.  John  Riley.  Thomas  H.  Allen. 
Thomas  J.  Coglan,  William  H.  Jones,  James  P.  Lair.  Hiram  H.  Dimick,  Al 
Voorhees,  Leroy  J.  Oldaker.  John  Schlater,  Ernest  D.  Powell,  B.  F.  Kreamer, 
J.  B.  J.  Lohnor. 

Present  membership,  seventy-two. 

Exodus  Chapter  No.  313,  Order  of  the  Eastern  Star.  Charter  dated 
October  23,  1901.  Charter  members:  Jennie  M.  Andrews,  Alice  Conn- 
rardy,  Lucille  Connrardy,  Jane  V.  Dimick,  Iva  Erickson,  Sadie  Hamlin, 
Nola  Hamler,  Jessamine  Hunt,  Anna  ]McAninch,  Mar\'  J.  Riley,  Dena  Stat- 
zell,  Sadie  Shrauger,  Eva  Voorhees,  Ida  Wissler,  Claude  N.  Andrews,  John 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  25 1 

B.  Connrardy,  Hiram  H.  Dimick,  John  J.  Dimick,  Robert  E.  L.  Hamlin, 
John  Riley,  Alfred  Voorhees,  Henry  L.  Wissler. 

Present  membership,  about  eighty. 

Exira  Lodge  No.  i8i,  Knights  of  Pythias.  Organized  August  31, 
1887.  Charter  dated  October  6,  1887.  Charter  members:  Francis  J. 
Shrauger,  Henry  F.  Andrews,  Erwin  Watson,  F.  W.  Shaw,  Charles  H.  An- 
drews, William  E.  Coleman,  John  Hunter,  William  Carpenter,  Albert  C. 
Andrews,  William  H.  Alilliman,  George  C.  Jeffries,  Otto  Witthauer,  Fred 
L.  Andrews,  Theodore  Patty,  John  Crane,  Horace  M.  Bartlett,  Charles  N. 
Milliman,  Nels  P.   Christensen. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  chancellor  commander :  Henry  F.  An- 
drews, 1887,  1900;  Erwin  Watson,  1888;  William  E.  Coleman,  1889; 
Charles  H.  Andrews,  1890;  Otto  Witthauer,  1891  ;  J.  Mack  Thomas,  1892; 
George  Henshaw,  1893;  George  Conklin,  1894;  Samuel  Brown,  1895;  Alfred 
Voorhees,  1896;  J.  O.  Howard,  1897;  Norton  J.  Marietta,  1898;  John  C. 
Newlon,  1899;  Chris.  A.  Rasmussen,  1900;  Henry  L.  Wissler,  190J;  Perry 
Hansen,  1902;  Victor  E.  Gearheart,  1903;  Chester  W.  Marlin,  1904-5; 
Fred  A.  Nims,  1905;  Leroy  J.  Oldaker,  1906;  Theodore  Patty,  1907; 
Charles  Findley,  1908;  Ernest  D.  Powell,  1908-9;  John  M.  Dimick,  1910; 
Peter  M.  Christensen,  191 1;  Charles  O.  Hunt,  1912;  Albert  C.  Andrews, 
1913;  John  K.  Vander  Brake,  1914. 

Present  membership,   seventy-two. 

Exira  Temple  No.  245,  Pythian  Sisters.  Charter  dated  September  3, 
1912.  Charter  members:  Mrs.  May  Dimick,  Mrs.  Maud  Oldaker,  Mrs. 
Anna  \  ande  Brake,  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Rethmier,  Miss  Lillian  Dyer,  Mrs. 
Viola  Christensen,  Mrs.  Katheryn  Cotton,  Mrs.  Genevieve  Harv^ey,  Mrs. 
Katheryn  Kroeger. 

These  ladies  have  held  the  office  of  most  excellent  chief :  ]\Irs.  Katheryn 
Kroeger,  Mrs.  May  Dimick.  Mrs.  Katheryn  Cotton,  Mrs.  Maude  Oldaker. 

Present  membership,  sixty- four. 

J.  C.  Newlon  Camp  No.  2820,  Modern  Woodmen  of  America,  organ- 
ized March  20,  1895.  Charter  members:  George  L.  Knapp,  Thomas  H. 
Allen,  Jacob  Bauer,  William  W.  Marietta,  Robert  L.  Houston,  John  L 
Hensley,  August  Heckman,  Bert  Hardenbrook,  Benjamin  F.  Davis,  W.  D. 
Stanley,  Charles  W.  Houston,  John  P.  Aupperlee,  John  C.  Newlon,  John 
Peters,  Otto  Witthauer,  S.  Frank  Wilcox,  Fred  Bartlet,  H.  A.  Peters, 
William  F.  Davis,  William  Woodward,  W.  C.  Aupperlee,  D.  D.  Hunt, 
George  W.  Conklin,  Frank  L.  Odell,  Frank  M.  Hensley. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  venerable  consul :     Otto  Witthuaer,  Frank 


L.  Odell,  Charles  M.  Oberholtz,  Charles  T.  Waits,  Abel  S.  Stone,  Thomas 
H.  Allen,  John  C.  Newlon,  Grant  Jones,  Ernest  B.  Voss,  John  Vander 

Present  membership,  fifty-nine. 

Exira  Lodge  No.  251,  Ancient  Order  of  United  Workmen.  Insti- 
tuted June  28,  1884.  Charter  dated  July  15,  1884.  Charter  members  and 
first  officers :  W.  W.  Banner,  past  master  workman ;  George  Hardenbrook, 
master  workman;  Benjamin  F.  Thomas,  g t ;  George  C.  Jeff- 
ries, overseer;  Thomas  G.  Bryant,  recorder;  William  W.  Sickles,  financier; 
Charles  F.  Willcutt,  receiver;  Charles  F.  Howlett,  guide;  Thomas  H.  Allen, 
inner  watchman;  Charles  H.  Howe,  outer  watchman;  John  W.  Freeland, 
William  H.  Millerman,  Webster  Heath,  John  Riley. 

These  members  have  held  the  office  of  master  workman :  George  Har- 
denbrook, Benjamin  F.  Thomas,  George  C.  Jeffries,  Thomas  G.  Bryant, 
William  W.  Sickles,  Henshaw,  Charles  F.  Willcutt,  Thomas  H.  Allen,  Rob- 
ert C.  Watterson,  John  Riley,  Wesley  C.  Smith,  William  H.  Jones,  Andrew 
J.  Bruner,  William  Milliman,  John  C.  Newlon,  George  Leffingwell,  Henry 
L.  Wissler,  George  W.  Kreamer,  George  Milliman,  Fremont  Anders, 

Present  membership,  thirty-one. 

Oliver  P.  Morton  Post  No.  35,  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic.  Char- 
ter granted  by  P.  V.  Cary,  department  commander,  dated  September  21, 
1881.  Charter  members:  Richard  W.  Griggs,  Benjamin  Elcenhover,  H. 
S.  Cisney,  George  W.  Bailey,  John  B.  Connrardy,  John  T.  Hill,  W.  R. 
Dafford,  A.  J.  Brown,  Peter  Tharnish,  Frank  Dorr,  Joseph  H.  Bell,  H.  F. 
Andrews.  Reorganized  February  19,  1884;  December  2,  1889;  and  October 
16,    1903. 

These  have  been  past  commanders:  1881,  Richard  W.  Griggs;  1884, 
Benjamin  F.  Thomas;  1884,  James  P.  Lair;  1889,  William  H.  Seavey; 
1891,  Samuel  D.  Harn;  1892,  William  H.  Bowman;  1893-5,  John  B.  Conn- 
rardy; 1895,  Hiram  H.  Dimick ;  1906,  H.  F.  Andrews;  1907,  Joesph  H. 
Bell;  1909,  William  Bintner;  1910,  John  T.  Hill;  191 1,  William  C.  Stur- 
gen;  1912,  William  E.  Davis;  1913,  Thomas  J.  Adair;  1914,  Hugh  W. 
Copeland;  191 5,  Daniel  Artist. 

Exira  Tent  No.  41,  Knights  of  the  Maccabees.  Organized  November 
30,  1894.  Charter  dated  March  19,  1895.  First  officers:  George  C.  Kerr, 
past  sir  knight  commander;  Bert  R.  Leaman,  sir  knight  commander;  B.  E. 
Breniman,  sir  knight  lieutenant  commander;  Frank  B.  Kerr,  sir  knight 
record  keeper;  Thomas  Lohner,  sir  knight  finance  keeper;  E.   A.  Tarnish, 


sir  knight  chaplain;  John  Burmister,  sir  knight  sergeant;  N.  P.  Lauritzen, 
sir  knight  physician;  Wilham  Mogg,  sir  knight  master  at  arms;  Charles 
N.  Milliman,  sir  knight  first  master  guard;  Albert  C.  Andrews,  sir  knight 
second  master  guard;  Dim.  Rieff,  sir  knight  sentinel;  George  W.  Guernsey, 
sir  knight  picket. 

These  members  have  held  the  office  of  sir  knight  commander:  Bert 
R.  Leaman,  Charles  E.  Breniman,  Al  Voorhees,  O.  B.  Breniman,  J.  G. 
Wheelock,  Thomas  Dustin,  C.  E.  Drake,  Charles  Fulton,  S.  A.  Hicks,  W. 
F.  Williams,  John  Riley,  Jr.,  Henry  F.  Bush. 

Present  membership,  forty-four. 

Brayton  Lodge  No.  31,  The  Danish  Brotherhood  in  America.  Organ- 
ized at  Brayton.  Charter  dated  December  20,  1888.  Transferred  to  Exira. 
First  officers:  Hans  Hansen,  past  president;  Jacob  Bloom,  president;  Jacob 
P.  Bendixen,  vice-president;  Peter  Jacobsen,  secretary;  Chris  Christensen, 
treasurer;  Peter  Neilsen,  guide;  Hans  Symand,  inner  guard;  Nels  L.  Beck, 
outer  guard. 

Present  membership,  fifty-one. 

Denmarks  Lodge  No.  108,  The  Danish  Sisters  Society  in  America. 
Charter  dated  February  28,  1908.  First  officers:  Sine  Gude,  past  presi- 
dent; Marie  Lohner,  president;  Eline  M.  Hansen,  vice-president;  Marie 
Hansen,  secretary;  Kathrine  Hansen,  treasurer;  Karen  Andersen,  guide; 
Alma  Hansen,  inner  guard;  Christina  Nelsen,  outer  guard. 

Modern  National  Reserve.  Organized  at  Exira,  October,  1903.  Its 
officers  were:  William  E.  Brinkerhoff,  president;  Mary  Fulton,  vice-presi- 
dent; Hattie  Witthauer,  secretary  and  treasurer;  Amber  Kelsey,  chaplain; 
William  Milliman,  guide;  Adam  Seibert,  inner  guard;  Charles  Milliman, 
outer  guard. 

It  had  a  large  membership,  who  were  transferred  to  the  American 
Nobles.  They  were  again  transferred  to  the  Fraternal  Aid  Union,  of  Den- 
ver, Colorado,  in  1913.  Present  officers:  Adam  Seibert,  president;  Mary 
Fulton,  secretary  and  treasurer. 

Present  membership,  thirty-five. 

Exira  Homestead  No.  805,  Brotherhood  of  American  Yeomen. 
Organized  October  18,  1901.  Officers:  Norton  J.  Marietta,  foreman;  John 
Martin,  master  of  ceremony;  Elizabeth  Martin,  correspondent;  George  Mar- 
tin, master  of  accounts;  Arthur  Hawk,  physician;  D.  R.  Simpkins,  watch- 
man ;  Fred  Bechtold,  sentinel ;  Charles  McCord,  guard. 

Present  membership,  thirteen. 



Utopia  Lodge  No.  i6i,  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows.  Organ- 
ized April  20,  1888,  by  D.  W.  Powers.  Chartered  October  18,  1888.  Char- 
ter members :  O.  B.  Francisco,  James  S.  Fisher,  Samuel  F.  Donaldson, 
John  T.  Day,  Thomas  J.  Spilker,  H.  W.  Lebeck,  Joseph  E.  Freetly. 

These  members  have  held  the  office  of  noble  grand:  1888,  Joseph 
E.  Freetly;  1889,  James  S.  Fi.sher,  Thomas  J.  Spilker;  1890,  O.  B.  Fran- 
cisco, Cash  U.  Taylor;  1891,  Walter  J.  Audas,  Samuel  F.  Garmire;  1892, 
J.  A.  Campbell,  Frank  P.  Huffman;  1893,  Frank  R.  McLaughlin.  William 
T.  Emily;  1894,  Mills  E.  Greenlee,  George  Wever;  1895,  William  L.  Hamil- 
ton, Charles  Tucker;  1896.  Samuel  C.  Randalls,  Milton  D.  Crow;  1897, 
William  J.  Lancelot,  Samuel  Keat;  1898,  William  H.  Lancelot,  William  Z. 
Scott;  1899,  John  C.  French,  Lewis  E.  Edwards;  1900,  Lawrence  A.  Beers, 
Wallace  Bolton;  1901,  Theron  B.  Crevling,  Lawrence  A.  Beers;  1902,  L. 
B.  Graves,  Joseph  L.  Xedrow;  1903,  K.  G.  Lancelot,  Horace  B.  Shelley; 
1904,  Frank  R.  McLaughlin,  August  G.  Fosbeck;  1905,  William  Barger, 
Fred  Baumann;  1906,  Chris.  Jensen,  D.  O.  Corner;  1907,  D.  C.  Chirsten- 
sen,  Elmer  Dyer;  1908,  Charles  Garmire,  Louis  Hansen;  1909,  Ralzo  Rol> 
inson,  George  Wever;  1910,  George  Garber;  1911,  William  Brandherst, 
Charles  E.  McLaughlin;  1912,  Ira  Miller,  Ray  McLaughlin;  1913,  A.  G. 
McMullen,  D.  O.  Corner;  1914,  Robert  L.  Clark,  Ralzo  Robinson;  191 5, 
Frank  R.  IMcLaughlin. 

Present  membership,   forty-eight. 

Canterbury  Bell  Lodge,  No.  506,  Daughters  of  Rebekah.  Charter  dated 
December  9.  1900.  Charter  members:  Theron  B.  Creveling,  Mrs.  Lou 
Creveling,  William  J.  Lancelot,  Phoel^e  A.  Lancelot,  J.  A.  Nelson,  Horace  B. 
Shelley,  Mrs.  H.  B.  Shelley,  J.  L.  Nedrow,  Anna  Nedrow,  Mollie  E.  Barger, 
Bertha  Shelley,  Clara  Shelley,  Thomas  S.  Wilson.  ]\Iaggie  E.  Wilson,  Charles 
Tucker,  Walter  J.  Andas,  Jennie  Andas,  Henry  F.  Wolf,  Jr.,  William  Z. 
Scott,  L.  E.  Edwards,  J.  C.  Hensch,  Tillie  Hensch. 

These  ladies  have  held  the  office  of  noble  grand:  Phoebe  Lancelot, 
Lou  Creveling,  Marguerite  Wilson.  Jennie  Audas,  Eva  Beers,  Anna  Nedrow, 
Bertha  Shelley.  Lizzie  Heff,  Cora  McLaughlin,  Mable  Barger,  Ella  Denton. 
Sadie  Denton,  Myrtle  Corner,  Ella  Forsbeck.  Cora  Weaver,  Matilda  Jensen, 
Grace  Cameron,  Nettie  Wernig.  Lillian  Farrell,  Mary  Wever,  May  I. 
McLaughlin.  ]\Iay  Shingledecker.  Marie  Jensen.  Gayetta  Farrell,  Jessie  Bar- 
ber, Bessie  Bunker. 


Present  membership,  thirty-nine. 

Gray  Camp  No.  2952,  Modern  Woodmen  of  America.  Chartered  May 
9,  1895.  Charter  members :  Lawrence  A.  Beers,  R.  D.  Henderson,  Frank 
P.  Huffman,  LoveU  Estes,  A.  Kitson,  J.  F._  Benson,  J.  A.  Campbell,  Fred  C. 
Hepp.  Oliver  Bicknor,  Samuel  F.  Garmire.  Frank  R.  McLaughlin,  George 
Chamberlin,  W.  A.  Dewitt,  Charles  Rogers,  James  Barnack,  Frank  Ginthers, 
J.  J.  Stuart,  A.  B.  Comstock,  Harlan  Kennells,  D.  H.  Steere,  William  J. 


Hamlin  Lodge  No.  256,  Danish  Brotherhood  in  America.  Chart- 
ered March  25,  1907.  Charter  members  and  first  officers :  Niels  A.  B.  Jen- 
sen, ex-president ;  Peter  J.  Juel,  president ;  Vilh  Olsen,  president ;  Jens  F. 
Petersen,  secretary;  Jorgen  R.  Petersen,  treasurer;  Olaf  N.  Olsen,  Fredrick 
C.  P.  Nissen,  John  E.  Tvenstrup,  trustees ;  Carl  C.  Tvenstrup,  conductor ; 
Rasmus  Nielsen,  inner  guard ;  Fred  Christensen,  outer  guard. 

These  members  have  held  the  office  of  president :  Peter  J.  Juel,  Peter 
N.  Olsen,  N.  J.  Jensen,  Fredrick  C.  P.  Nissen,  Jacob  Andersen,  Johan 

Present  membership,  twenty-seven. 


Fremad  Lodge  No.  21,  The  Danish  Brotherhood  in  America.  Chartered 
May  13.  1913.  Charter  members;  P.  J.  P.  Kelgor,  Anders  Hansen,  Rasmus 
Broker,  Laurids  Theodor  Jensen,  Oscar  E.  T.  Hartel,  Ole  Jansen,  Lars  Ras- 
mussen,  Lars  Peter  Nielsen,  Knud  Jorgensen  Petersen.  Conrad  Nielsen, 
Johannes  Vester. 

These  have  held  the  office  of  president ;  Jens  J.  P.  Kelgor,  Rasmus 
Broker,  Andrew  Hansen. 




Exira  is  the  oldest  town  that  has  survived  in  the  county.  It  was  laid 
out  on  lot  i6  and  the  south  one-fourth  of  lot  9,  in  section  4,  Exira  town- 
ship, comprising  fifty  acres  of  clean  prairie.  Its  location  was  all  that  could 
have  been  desired,  being  situated  on  a  beautiful  elevated  bench,  half  a  mile 
east  from  the  fork  of  David's  creek,  with  the  Nishua  Botna  river,  with 
groves  up  to  the  very  borders  of  the  town.  It  was  surveyed  and  platted  by 
Peoria  I.  Whitted,  under  direction  of  David  Edgerton  and  Judge  Daniel 
M.  Harris,  on  the  land  of  Mr.  Edgerton,  who  owned  a  large  tract  of  the 
adjoining  premises.  Judge  Harris  is  entitled  to  credit  for  founding  the 
town  and  was  owner  of  the  unrecorded,  undivided  half  of  the  enterprise. 
It  was  first  intended  that  its  name  should  be  Viola,  after  a  daughter  of  Mr. 
Edgerton,  but  Judge  John  Eckman,  from  Ohio,  a  kinsman  of  the  Cranes, 
being  here  at  the  time,  proposed  to  buy  a  lot  if  the  proprietors  would  name 
the  town  after  his  daughter.  Miss  Exira  Eckman,  which  was  accordingly 
done.  The  name  is  of  Spanish  origin.  One  cause  for  the  foundation  of  the 
town  was  that  the  Dodge  route  for  the  railroad  was  surveyed  through  the 
town  site.  It  proved  an  ignis  fatuits,  which  lured  many  people,  first  and 
last,  to  settle  in  the  vicinity,  and  the  influence  continued  down  to  the  time 
of  building  the  railroad,  1878. 

The  town  had  an  auspicious  opening  by  a  sale  of  its  lots  at  public  auc- 
tion. Mr.  Harris  cried  the  sale,  and  the  proceeds  for  the  first  day  aggre- 
gated one  thousand  nine  hundred  and  fifty  dollars.  It  was  easily  the  lead- 
ing town  in  the  county  from  its  start,  and  held  its  prestige  against  all  com- 
ers until  the  town  of  Audubon  succeeded  to  the  honor  in  1879.  Mr.  Edger- 
ton reserved  all  of  block  4  for  his  homestead,  and  Judge  Harris  reserv^ed 
block  8  for  a  like  purpose  for  himself  and  erected  thereon  his  dwelling 
house,  the  first  in  town.  This  was  quickly  succeeded  by  the  erection  of 
dwellings  the  same  year  by  John  R.  Thacker,  Franklin  Hobbs,  A.  B.  Hous- 
ton and  David  Edgerton.     During  the  succeeding  year  a  commodious  school 




house  was  erected  (see  sketch  of  Hon.  Daniel  M.  Harris).  A  hotel  was 
b^uilt  by  Palmer  Rodgers,  and  other  residences  were  erected  by  Charles 
Chapin,  Zel  Edgerton,  Asa  Haskins,  William  Nelson  and  Urbane  Herrick. 
A  workshop  was  also  built  by  Mr.  Harris,  but  was  soon  converted  into  an 

In  1859  other  residences  were  erected  by  Harriet  McGinnis,  William 
Pangburn,  \\^illiam  Bush,  Doctor  Ham,  and  perhaps  others.  Deacon 
Lyman  Bush  came  here  in  1857  ^^^  purchased  the  residence  built  by  his 
son-in-law,  Franklin  Hobbs.  He  was  the  shoemaker.  Daniel  Crane  and 
his  sons,  David  L.  Anderson,  Bryant  Milliman  and  Levi  B.  Montgomery 
lived  near  the  town.  Crane  and  Anderson  were  blacksmiths.  Palmer 
Rodgers  came  in  1856  and  built  the  hotel  the  following  year,  on  the  south 
side  of  block  2,  which  he  sold  to  Franklin  Burnham,  and  moved  away.  Burn- 
ham  sold  to  Stillman  H.  Perry  and  moved  away;  Perry  kept  the  hotel  until 
about  1872,  and  was  succeeded  by  Mrs.  Mattie  L  Luccock  until  1874. 
About  1875,  ^t  was  occupied  by  William  P.  Hamlin.  The  old  house  and 
barn  were  torn  down  as  early  as  1879. 


David  L.  Anderson  was  the  first  postmaster  of  Exira,  before  the  town 
was  laid  out.  The  subsequent  postmasters  have  been:  Daniel  M.  Harris, 
Franklin  Burnham,  Carlos  E.  Frost,  John  D.  Bush,  Benjamin  F.  Thacker, 
Caleb  Bundy,  George  Hardenbrook,  W.  A.  Mills,  William  Millerman, 
David  Workman,  Hugh  W.  Copeland,  John  B.  Connrardy,  Ernest  D. 
Powell  and  B.  F.  Kreamer. 


Judge  Harris  was  the  first  lawyer  in  the  county,  as  well  as  in  Exira, 
and  was  county  judge  from  1856  to  1861,  inclusive.  See  sketch  and  men- 
tion of  him  in  other  parts  of  this  work. 

Peoria  L  Whitted  settled  at  Exira  when  the  town  was  started,  and 
lived  there  the  remainder  of  his  life.  He  was  county  surveyor  many  years; 
surveyed  several  of  the  towns  and  additions  thereto;  also,  many  of  the 
county  roads ;  retraced  the  lines  of  the  original  surveys  and  subdivided 
large  areas  of  the  lands  in  the  county  and  in  adjoining  counties.  No  sur- 
veyor of  Audubon  county  ever  did  more  of  such  kind  of  work. 



Darius  Barlow  kept  merchandise  for  sale  in  his  dwelling  house  (die 
old  Pangburn  house),  on  the  northwest  corner  of  block  11.  He  was  a 
boisterous  character,  but  a  stout  Union  man,  who  refused  to  sell  ammuni- 
tion to  Southern  sympathizers  in  war  times. 

Carlos  E.  Frost  was  county  treasurer  and  lived  in  Exira  in  1864-5. 
Wi'-liam  P.  Hamlin  came  to  Exira  in  i860  and  bought  the  residence  of 
Judge  Harris.  (See  personal  sketch  of  him  elsewhere  in  this  work). 

About  1864  A.  B.  Houston  brought  a  good  line  of  merchandise  and 
kept  store  in  a  shanty  on  the  site  of  the  Millie  Hash  residence  in  block  12, 
and  continued  the  business  with  some  changes  until  1870,  his  son,  Henry, 
and  John  R.  Thacker  being  associated  in  the  business  part  of  the  time. 
During  the  period  from  1866  to  1869,  inclusive,  Mr.  Houston  was  county 
treasurer;  county  judge  during  1862-3;  deputy  clerk  of  court,  1865.  From 
1856  to  about  1866  he  was  associated  with  Nathaniel  Hamlin  a  portion  of 
the  time  in  the  real  estate  agency.  He  did  the  largest  business  in  the  county 
from  1865  to  1870,  and  was  agent  for  a  large  amount  of  lands,  includmg 
the  Imsiness  of  the  American  Emigrant  Company,  who  had  many  sheep 
let  out  in  Audubon,  Cass  and  Shelby  counties.  He  had  l)y  far  the  best  busi- 
ness opportunities  of  any  man  in  Exira  up  to  liis  time,  but  was  not  equal  to 
the  demand,  and  let  it  slip  through  his  fingers.  He  lost  heavily  by  extend- 
ing credit  in  his  business.  In  1870  he  built  the  Houston  house,  on  the  site 
of  the  present  Park  hotel,  conducted  it  for  several  years,  and  sold  out.  It 
burned  down  and  on  the  same  spot  a  new  hotel  was  erected,  which  is  now 
standing.  Several  men  engaged  in  the  l)lacksmith  business  in  a  small  way 
for  a  dozen  years.  In  i86q,  Aljram  Campbell  came  here  frc^m  Wisconsin 
and  started  a  gocjd  blacksmith  shop ;  and  in  connection  with  it.  a  wagon 
and  repair  shop,  conducted  for  several  years  by  John  Cannon  and  Luke 
Knapp.  Campl)ell  was  succeeded,  aliout  1879,  by  John  Hicks.  Many  others 
have  since  engaged  in  the  business. 

In  1865  John  D.  BusTi,  who  was  a  Massachusetts  Yankee,  kept  goods 
for  sale  in  a  rented  house  used  as  a  residence.  In  1866  he  put  up  a  good- 
sized  store  building,  with  residence  attached,  on  the  northeast  corner  of 
block  6.  where  he  kept  the  l)est  and  largest  assorted  stock  of  merchandise  in 
the  county  up  to  that  time.  His  boots  and  shoes  and  codfish  were  unex- 
celled, and  he  was  postmaster.  He  hauled  his  goods  mostly  from  Des 
Moines  by  teams,  and  Charley  Van  Gorder  was  his  clerk  and  was  the  dravv- 
ing  card  in  the  concern.  He  sold  out  in  1873-4  to  Harris  Brothers,  and 
they  sold,  in  1875,  to  Stotts  &  Houston,  who  moved  t(j  West  Exira  in  1879. 


The  old  store  burned  down  in  1899,  and  the  present  building  was  erected 
by  James  P.  McAninch. 

About  1858  a  one-story  building,  about  sixteen  feet  square,  was  built 
by  Judge  Harris  for  a  shop,  on  block  8,  and  used  by  him  for  an  office  a 
short  time.  It  was  sold  to  the  county  and  moved  to  the  east  side  of  the 
public  square,  where  it  was  used  for  the  county  offices,  and  where  the  county 
records  were  kept  until  1874.  The  county  then  owned  no  other  building, 
and  the  courts  were  held  in  the  school  house. 

On  September  i,  1873,  A.  B.  Hanston.  John  A.  Hallock,  A.  Campbell, 
Charley  Van  Gorder,  John  D.  Bush  and  P.  I.  Whitted  executed  a  bond 
to  Audubon  county  in  the  sum  of  five  thousand  dollars  binding  themselves 
to  furnish  a  building  for  courts  and  county  offices  free,  so  long  as  the  county 
seat  should  remain  at  Exira.  Early  the  next  year  the  Exira  Hall  Company 
was  incorporated,  and  sold  its  stock  sufficient  to  erect  a  building  to  be  used 
for  court  house  and  county  offices,  which  was  l^uilt  on  the  southwest  corner 
of  block  I,  at  the  cost  of  over  two  thousand  two  hundred  dollars.  The 
same  building  is  now  owned  and  occupied  by  the  Knights  of  Pythias  lodge. 
It  was  occupied  by  the  county  until  the  county  seat  was  removed  to  Audubon 
in  1879. 


On  September  i,  1871,  the  board  of  supervision  appropriated  six  thou- 
sand nine  hundred  and  forty-eight  dollars  for  the  erection  of  a  court  house 
at  Exira,  and  a  tax  of  four  mills  was  levied  for  that  purpose.  Plans  were 
gotten  out  and  brick  were  bought  from  Van  Gorder  and  heaped  up  in  big 
piles  on  the  public  square  preparatory  for  erecting  the  building.  Then  a 
court  house  fight  began.  The  supervisors  were  enjoined  from  building 
the  house,  and  on  January  18,  1873,  the  case  was  settled,  the  injunction 
acquiesced  in.  and  the  court  house  tax  refunded,  all  of  which  involved  several 
law  suits,  and  which  ended  the  building  of  a  court  house  at  Exira. 

H.  F.  Andrews,  in  1873,  built  the  first  brick  building  erected  in  Audu- 
bon county.  It  was  built  for  an  office  and  was  eighteen  by  forty  feet  in 
size,  and  was  located  on  block  6. 

In  1876  the  trees  were  planted  in  the  "public  park,  being  donated  by 
Alfred  E.  Bartlett  and  Thomas  Walker.  The  plan  was  laid  out  by  H.  F. 
Andrews  and  Samuel  D.  Harn. 

John  A.  Hallock  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1863,  but  never  practiced. 
In  1868  John  W.  Scott,  a  lawyer,  came  here  from  Bloomfield,  Iowa,  and. 
in  connection  with  the  office  of  clerk  of  the  district  court,  to  which  he  was 

26o  AUDUBON    COUNTY,,    IOWA. 

elected  in  1868,  practiced  his  profession.  In  iSyirZ  he  was  in  charge  ol 
the  Hamhn  Town  Company,  and  put  up  a  vigorous  fight  to  change  the 
county  seat  to  Hamhn,  but  met  with  signal  defeat.  In  1869  Daniel  W. 
Scribner  and  John  M.  Griggs  were  admitted  to  the  bar  in  Exira  and  formed 
a  partnership  with  H.  F.  Andrews  in  the  law  and  real  estate  business. 
Scribner  withdrew  from  the  firm  the  same  year.  In  1870  H.  F.  Andrews 
was  admitted  to  the  bar  and  a  law  partnership  formed  by  Andrews  & 
Griggs,  which  continued  until  October,  1873;  during  which  period  they 
established  a  lucrative  business  and  had  an  extensive  acquaintance. 

In  1872,  J.  M.  Rendleman,  M.  D.,  came  here  from  Atlanta,  Ga.,  and 
at  once  established  an  extensive  practice.  He  still  resides  here,  but  lived 
several  years  in  Audubon.  Charles  H.  Andrews,  M.  D.,  a  popular  physician, 
settled  here  in  1875.  He  died  in  1896,  regretted  by  a  wide  acquaintance. 
John  Riley,  M.  D.,  came  in  1880,  and  John  C.  Newlon,  M.  D.,  in  1893. 
Both  live  here  at  present,  in  regular  practice.  Charles  Van  Gorder,  Esq., 
is  deserving  of  more  than  passing  notice.  (See  sketch  of  him  elsewhere 
in  this  work  and  in  the  chapter  on  political  parties.)  He  came  here  by 
way  of  Missouri,  in  red  hot  abolition  times,  during  the  Kansas-Nebraska 
troubles.  He  was  an  utter  stranger  and  some  speculation  was  indulged  as 
to  his  business  in  coming  here.  "Uncle  Natty"  Hamlin  was  suspicious  and 
did  not  fancy  him,  and  volunteered  the  opinion:  "I  can  tell  what  he  is;  he 
is  a  ganned  nigger  stealer,  sir!"  But  Charley  was  clear  of  any  such  impu- 
tation. He  found  employment  with  "Billy"  Nelson  in  the  brick  yard  at 


Perk  Smith  tells  of  a  good  incident  which  happened  at  that  time.  Nel- 
son was  burning  a  brick  kiln,  and  some  of  the  boys  met  there  one  evening, 
John  R.  Thacker  among  them.  It  was  suggested  that  the  fires  in  the  kiln 
offered  a  fine  opportunity  to  roast  chickens.  Thacker  was  in  for  it,  and 
suggested  that  Deacon  Bush  had  some  chickens  which  would  be  just  the 
thing.  He  proposed  that  some  of  the  bo5^s  should  procure  the  chickens  ana 
that  he  and  Van  Gorder  would  prepare  the  mud  for  roasting  them.  The 
process  consists  in  covering  the  chicken,  feathers  and  all,  w'ith  a  casing  of 
soft  clay,  and  placing  the  mass  in  a  hot  fire  until  cooked.  It  is  then  removed 
from  the  fire,  the  crust  of  clay,  feathers  and  skin  removed,  leaving  a 
tootlisome  morsel,  which  can  hardly  be  excelled  by  any  other  style  of  the 
culinary  art.  The  boys  returned  with  a  sackful  of  chickens,  which  were 
cooked  a  la  proper,  and  the  feast  was  enjoyed.     Thacker  was  merry  over 


it,  and  wondered  what  the  deacon  would  say  in  the  morning  upon  missing 
his  chickens.  But  the  event  never  happened.  When  Thacker  went  to  his 
own  chicken  house  it  was  empty!  He  considered  himself  the  victim  of  a 
dirty,  unpardonable  trick,  and  treated  his  late  companions  with  unmitigated 
scorn  and  contempt.     He  failed  to  see  the  beauty  of  the  joke. 

In  1862  Van  Gorder  enlisted  in  the  Thirty-ninth  Iowa  Infantry  as  a 
private,  and  served  in  the  Western  Army.  He  participated  in  the  battle  of 
Altoona  Pass,  under  the  gallant  General  Corse,  where  he  was  wounded. 
He  filled  all  offices  up  to  captain  in  his  company,  was  discharged  at  the 
close  of  the  war,  and  returned  to  Exira  in  1865.  In  1866  he  made  a  freight- 
ing trip  to  Denver  with  ox  teams  and  returned.  Afterwards  he  was  a 
brickmaker  in  Exira  on  his  own  account.  During  1867  to  1869,  inclusive, 
he  was  clerk  in  the  store  of  John  D.  Bush,  at  Exira. 

After  serving  four  years  as  county  treasurer,  1870-3,  he  organized  the 
Audubon  County  Bank  at  Exira,  the  first  banking  house  in  the  county,  and 
has  continued  in  the  business  to  the  present  time. 


Exira  was  incorporated  on  December  13,  1880.  These  have  been  may- 
ors of  the  town:  John  R.  Ridge,  1881 ;  David  L.  Anderson,  1881 ;  Erwin 
Watson,  1 881;  Richard  W.  Griggs,  1882;  John  B.  Connrardy,  1883-4;  A. 
B.  Houston,  1885;  Joseph  E.  Toft,  1886-9;  Charles  T.  Wilcutt,  1890-1 ; 
James  P.  Lair,  1892;  Isaac  L.  vStatzell,  1893-4;  Van  B.  Hellyer,  1895; 
Charles  T.  Breniman,  1896-8;  C.  A.  Marlin,  1900-1  ;  George  F.  Kapp, 
1902-3;  Leroy  J.  Oldaker,  1903;  H.  F.  Andrews.  1904-5;  Charles  E.  Nichols, 
1905;  John  O.  Howard,  1906-7;  Nels  Hansen,  1908-9;  John  H.  Rendle- 
man,  1910-11;  T.  M.  Rassmussen,  1912-15. 

Houston's  addition  was  laid  out  by  A.  B.  Houston  on  September  2, 
1878,  on  lot  15,  section  4,  Exira  township. 

West  Exira  was  laid  out  by  H.  F.  Andrews,  William  F.  Stotts,  Henry 
B.  Houston,  John  M.  Griggs  and  L.  C.  Van  Hook,  on  March  29,  1879,  and 
is  situated  on  lots  5,  6,  11  and  12,  in  section  4,  Evira  township. 

Exira  Heights  was  laid  out  by  U.  S.  Herrick,  James  F.  McAnnich 
and  Edwin  Delahoyde,  on  March  13,  1894,  on  lot  12,  section  3,  and  lot  9, 
section  4,  Exira  township. 

Gates'  addition  was  laid  out  by  J.  E.  and  J.  G.  Gates  on  July  9,  1894, 
on  lot   13,  section  3,  Exira  township. 

On  May  11,  1887,  a  big  fire  destroyed  the  buildings  on  the  south  side 


of  block  3,  Exira,  the  main  business  street,  which  was  rebuilt  with  remark- 
able rapidity  and  replaced  by  brick  business  houses. 


The  schools  of  Exira,  from  the  beginning,  have  been  justly  celebrated 
for  excellence.  Their  early  equipments,  while  not  equal  to  present  condi- 
tions, were  up  to  the  standard  of  neighboring  pioneer  facilities.  The  first 
school  house,  twenty-four  by  thirty  feet  in  size,  was  built  in  1858.  The 
seats,  of  different  lengths,  were  clumsy  furniture,  made  of  stout,  dressed 
walnut  plank,  with  open  rail  backs  of  the  same  material.  The  desks,  of 
the  same  material,  were  huge,  four-posted  boxes,  with  hinged  tops,  and 
were  not  fastened  to  the  fioor.  The  manufacturers  were  supposed  to  have 
been  Judges  Harris  and  Houston,  and,  like  the  fellows  dancing,  if  not  pretty, 
they  were  strong.  The  house  was  remodeled  and  has  been  used  as  a  dwell- 
ing for  many  years,  on  its  original  site. 

In  1 87 1  four  thousand  dollars  had  been  appropriated  for  a  brick  school 
house  at  Exira.  But,  by  some  kind  of  shuffling  on  the  part  of  the  school 
officers,  the  first  warning  that  Exira  people  had,  a  contract  was  let  to  John 
Cannon  for  the  erection  of  a  frame  school  house  at  the  cost  of  two  thou- 
sand three  hundred  dollars.  It  was  clear  that  Exira  had  been  tricked  out  of 
their  brick  school  house.  A  two-story,  two-room  pine  box  was  erected  on 
the  present  school  house  premises.     It  was  not  a  thing  of  beauty,  nor  a  joy. 

In  1884  the  school  house  was  enlarged  l)y  the  erection  of  an  impos- 
ing two-story  edifice  of  six  rooms,  adjoining  and  in  front  of  the  for- 
mer building,  at  the  cost  of  three  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  It  was 
fairly  suitable  for  the  town  schools  until  recent  years.  It  was  torn  down 
and  removed  in  191 5,  after  the  erection  of  the  present  new  school  house. 

During  the  year  1914-15,  additional  ground  was  procured,  and  a  new 
brick  school  house,  fifty-nine  by  ninety-nine  feet,  two  stories  and  basement, 
was  erected  and  equipped,  at  a  cost  of  thirty-eight  thousand  dollars.  It  is 
modern  in  every  detail ;  equipped  with  steam  heating  system,  thermostatic 
ventilation,  waterworks,  and  fire  hose,  fire  escapes,  fire  alarm  and  electric 
lights,  telephone,  sanitary  drinking  fountains,  bath  rooms,  closets  and  ward- 
robes. It  contains  boiler  room,  with  coal  and  ash  bins ;  engine  room;  a 
gymnasium  in  the  basement,  thirty-two  Ijy  sixty  feet,  eighteen  feet  high; 
domestic  science  room,  with  dining  room  and  pantry  attached ;  manual  train- 
ing room ;  assembly  room ;  seven  grade  class  rooms  and  three  recitation 
rooms ;   superintendent's   office,    library,    laboratory,    rest   rooms   and   lunch 


rooms.  The  school  grounds  are  ample,  with  agricultural  building  in  the 
rear.  Also  there  is  a  septic  tank  in  the  rear  for  receiving  the  sewer  drain- 
age from  the  building.  School  experts  pronounce  it  the  best-appointed  and 
equipped  school  house  of  its  size  in  the  state  at  this  time. 

The  corps  of  instructors  consist  of  a  superintendent  and  nine  subor- 
dinate teachers.  The  payroll  for  the  present  year  is  $6,500.  In  addition 
to  being  a  fully  accredited  high  school,  it  has  been  designated  a  teacher's 
training  school  by  the  state  superintendent  of  public  instruction,  and,  as 
such,  receives  state  aid  of  seven  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  a  year.  Non- 
resident pupils  are  in  attendance  annually.  The  number  of  such  pupils  for 
1914-15  was  thirt)^-seven.  The  total  number  of  pupils  enrolled  for  the  cur- 
rent year  is  two  hundred  and  sixty-hve. 

The  independent  district  of  Exira  embraces  the  west  half  of  section 
2,  all  of  section  3,  all  of  section  4,  except  the  south  half  of  the  southwest 
quarter,  and  the  west  half  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  10,  all  in 
Exira  township. 

About  1879-80,  Professor  Wilcutt,  who  was  then  principal  of  the 
school,  prepared  a  plan  for  grading  the  school  and  a  course  of  study  appli- 
cable to  the  work.  The  school  board,  then  consisting  of  George  Harden- 
brook,  William  J.  Harris.  Dr.  James  M.  Rendleman,  Hon.  John  A.  Hallock 
and  H.  E.  Andrews,  made  the  proper  order  establishing  the  various  grades 
for  the  school,  also  the  course  of  study,  in  harmony  with  the  recommenda- 
tion of  Professor  Wilcutt. 

The  teachers  employed  from  the  first  have  been  usually  of  good  ability 
and  their  efficiency  advanced  in  harmony  with  the  public  demand.  Those 
who  have  been  in  charge  of  the  school  have  been :  Louis  Harvout,  Edwin 
S.  Hill.  Mary  Crane,  David  B.  Beers,  George  S.  Montgomery,  Benjamin 
E.  Thomas,  John  A.  Hallock,  Beulah  Sylvester.  Samuel  E.  Smith,  Daniel 
\\'.  Scribner,  John  M.  Griggs,  Charles  H.  Andrews,  Charles  D.  Gray,  George 

Lindsey,  A.  E.  Clarendon,  Harmon  G.  Smith,  George  I.  Miller,  Curtis, 

Charles  E.  Wilcutt,  Carl  Ross,  David  P.  Repass,  Elva  Thompson.  W.  H. 
Fort.  William  H.  Brinkerhoft',  John  ]\I.  Crocker,  Louie  Sorensen,  Charles 
W.  Johnson,  John  L.  Conger,  P.  M.  Hersom.  Ered  A.  Sims.  B.  J.  Gallag- 
her, Helen  Carson,  J.  L.  Harper,  William  H.  Hoyman. 

It  is  impossible  at  this  time  to  even  name  the  subordinate  teachers. 
Among  them  were  Mrs.  Beulah  Slyvester  and  Mrs.  Margaret  J.  Roseman, 
who  should  be  remembered  with  affection  and  gratitude  for  their  untiring 
efforts  to  assist  the  boys  and  girls  who  attended  under  their  instruction. 



For  most  years  beginning  with  1889,  the  high  school  has  graduated  a 
class,  to  wliom  regular  diplomas  have  been  issued.  The  following  is  a  list 
of  graduates  to  the  present  time: 

1889.     Jessie  M.  Shaw. 

1 89 1.  Thomas  Dustin,  Frank  Shranger,  Fred  Gates,  Verna  Croy, 
Rosa  Powell. 

1892.  Walter   Marietta,    Roxie   Huyck,    Charlie   Gates,   Louie   Welch. 

1893.  Ross  Hardenbrook,  Anna  Carpenter,  Gertie  Gates,  Trola  Born, 
Beth  Henry. 

1894.  Anna  Hanson,  Margaret  McNally,  B.  F.  Kreamer,  \\'ill  An- 
ders, Edna  McAffee,   Charles  Kommes. 

1895.  Nettie  Bruner,  Cecelia  Peterman,  Edith  Davis,  Stella  ]\Iaster- 
son,  Florence  Rathburn,  Florence  Hill,  Chalmer  Sturgeon. 

1896.  Hattie  Huyck,  Ola  Williams,  William  Deweese. 

1897.  Albert  Guidinger,  Samuel  Hicks,  Connaught  D.  Hunter,  Frank 
Guidinger,  Peace  Hayes,  Kittie  Jobes,  Charles  Fulton,  Randall  Hunter, 
(orrove  Rathburn. 

1898.  Harriet  Jenkins,  Jennie  Bennett,  Ella  McNallv,  Lee  McAninch, 
Will  Wissler. 

1899.  Ethel  Riley,  Ethel  Hicks,  Rose  Faust.  Lucille  Connrardy,  Myr- 
tle Hellyer. 

1900.  Maude  Campbell,  Amy  Conger,  Eva  Tulbert,  Berta  Gano,  Susie 
Huyck,  Lester  Peterman. 

1902.  Martha  Bruner,  Lillian  B.  Dyer,  Kathryn  Connrardy,  Florence 
E.  McAnnich,  Gretchen  Delahoyde,  Zilpha  M.  Gault,  Otto  Born. 

1903.  Elizabeth  Jones,  Grace  West. 

1904.  Kathleen  Delahoyde,   Charles  E.   Herrick,   Harold   Sturgeon. 

1905.  Mertie  Bruner,  Gertie  Bruner,  Bessie  Ide,  Grace  Hensley,  Ber- 
tha Young,  Lucile  Herrick. 

1907.  Grace  Huyck,  Elsie  Hunt. 

1908.  Delia  Hicks,  Mabel  Hall,  Ruth  Statzell. 

1909.  William  A.  Nelson,  Charles  L  Ide,  Pluma  Freeman. 

1 9 10.  Carrie  Gault,   Mary  Powell. 

191 1.  Dena  Hensley,  Muriel  Koob,  Ora  Hicks,  Ellowene  Dimick, 
Ethel  Bisom,  Winnie  Heath,  Florabelle  Houton,  Frank  Hall. 


NEW   SCHOOL   HOUSE,   EXIRA.  1915. 

DEACON    LY:MAX    BUSH    HOUSE.    EXIKA.    BUILT    IN    1857.      MAIN    BUILDING    IS 



1913.  Flora  Rendleman,  Geraldine  Rendleman,  Dena  Nelson,  Vivian 

1914.  Mary  Lamsen,  Kathleen  Hunt,  Alice  Hay,  Kathryn  Thielen, 
Harvey  Jensen,  Norman  Hensley. 

191 5.  Mabel  Ide,  Leila  Kline,  Goldie  Chase,  Agnes  Nelsen,  Madea- 
line  Essington,  Mrytle  Grinyer,  Genevieve  Wright,  Marie  Freeman,  Frank 
Dimick,  Henry  K.  Petersen,  Theodore  Nelsen. 


Some  of  the  prominent  people  who  have  lived  in  Exira,  not  otherwise 
mentioned  in  this  work,  have  been :  Jacob  Andrews,  Nathan  W.  Andrews, 
Will  E.  Andrews,  Albert  C.  Andrews,  Free  Anders,  L.  E.  Born,  Henry  T. 
Bush,  W.  H.  Bow^man,  Jo.  Chase,  GeOrge  Chase,  A.  L.  Campbell,  William 
Carpenter,  Enoch  Croy,  John  Crane,  Samuel  Crane,  John  G.  Gates,  Stephen 
Gano,  Henry  B.  Houston,  John  Hicks,  Urbane  Herrick,  Julius  M.  Hubbard, 
Charles  O.  Hunt.  George  Hunt,,  Hans  P.  Hansen,  Nathaniel  D.  Hamlin. 
Charles  C.  Hawk,  Samuel  D.  Ham,  J.  D.  Herrick,  Perry  Hansen,  Nels 
Hansen,  Charles  Houston,  A.  W.  Harvey,  V.  B.  Hellyer,  W.  E.  Brinker- 
hoff,  N.  P.  Christensen,  George  W.  Guernsey,  Frank  Gault,  Richard  Gault, 
John  Gray,  Xerxes  Knox,  Peter  Kommes,  Charles  Kommes,  William 
Kommes,  Luke  Knapp,  Noel  Jobes,  W.  J.  Lancelot,  John  Mertes,  Daniel 
W.  Miller,  James  F.  McAnninch,  Bryant  ]Milliman,  Charles  Milliman,  John 
Noon,  George  Paige,  Ernest  D.  Powell,  Theodore  Patty,  John  Peterman, 
James  B.  Rendleman,  William  C.  Sturgeon,  Isaac  Statzell,  Samuel  Smith, 
Hendrick  R.  Smith,  Thomas  Walker,  William  Walker,  Otto  Witthauer, 
Fred  Wahlert,  George  Wahlert,  William  F.  Stotts,  Jo.  Gearheart,  Andrew^  J. 
Leffingwell,  Nick  Thielen.  Francis  J.  Shranger,  John  S.  Toft,  James  Holli- 
day,  James  Willox,  John  Nelsen,  Erwin  Watson,  Lester  Gransberry,  Perry 
Bateman,  George  W.  Bailey,  W.  R.  Bruner,  Joseph  H.  Bell,  W.  R.  Cope- 
land,  Hiram  H.  Dimick,  William  H.  Seavey,  Peter  Tharnish. 

Some  of  the  best  residences  in  Exira  are  those  of  Eugene  C.  Wilson, 
Ed.  Cotton,  James  Channon,  Mrs.  Alice  Connrardy,  William  H.  Voss, 
Ernest  B.  Voss,  Fred  H.  Cotton,  Dr.  Leroy  J.  Oldaker,  John  L  Hensley, 
John  M.  Dimmick,  Edwin  Delahoyde,  William.  Bintner,  Henry  and  Lena 
Bush,  John  H.  Randleman,  Otto  Witthauer,  Hans  P.  Petersen,  Dr.  John 
Riley,  Lars  P.  Christensen,  William  E.  Varney,  Chris.  Jacobsen,  Dr.  J.  C. 
Newlon,  Perry  Hansen,  P.  M.  Christensen,  Mrs.  Lissa  Gault,  Mrs.  Charles 
Klever,  Mrs.  Jens  Jepson,  Nels  Hansen,  George  Milliman,  Frances  L.  Voss. 



Population,  eight  hundred  and  thirty-seven. 

Mayor,  T.  M.  Rasmussen ;  to^vn  clerk,  George  C.  Corl ;  marshal,  Roy 
McLain;  assessor,  Robert  C.  Watterson;  justice  of  the  peace,  James  P. 
Lair;  constable,  John  C.  Coe;  postmaster,  Frank  A.  Kreamer;  mail  car- 
riers, Frank  Basham,  Ad  Seibert,  James  Hicks,  Harry  Hockenberry,  An- 
drew C.  Jensen;  principal  of  school,  \\'illiam  H.  Hoyman. 

Attorneys — H.  F.  Andrews,  T.   yi.  Rasmussen. 

Clergymen — Catholic,  Rev.  Father  John  Alayer;  Congregational,  Rev. 
Jessie  Getty;  Alethodist,  Rev.  Henry  P.  Grinyer;  Christian.  Rev.  Charles  S. 
Linkletter;  Lutheran,  Rev.  Peter  Rasmussen. 

Physicians — J.  AL  Rendleman,  John  Riley,  John  C.  Newlon,  Robert  A. 
Jacobsen;  dentist — Leroy  J.  Oldaker;  railroad  agent — W.  O.  Griffith;  Iowa 
Telephone — Ola  Willis;  electrician — Louie  Petersen;  veterinarv  surgeon — 
Roy  A.  Lantz.  Banks — Exchange  Bank.  Edwin  Delahoyde,  cashier;  First 
National  Bank,  James  AL  Carlson,  cashier;  land  agents — John  H.  Rendle- 
man, J.  B.  J.  Lohner,  Lawrence  Hansen,  Lee  McAnninch;  insurance  agents 
— Theodore  Patty,  A.  W.  Harvey;  life  insurance — Albert  C.  Andrews; 
druggists — Nels  Hansen,  Exira  Drug  Co. ;  general  stores — Ed  Cotton.  Hans 
P.  Petersen,  Erke  Brothers,  A.  L.  Hamon ;  grocer — Fred  H.  Cotton ;  hard- 
ware— John  Nelson,  William  E.  Varney;  variety  store — Peter  R.  Jorgen- 
sen;  meat  market — Peter  Hassenfeldt;  grain  elevator — Herman  Barnholdt; 
creamery — Exira  Creamery  Company,  Chris  Petersen ;  produce — Exira 
Produce  Company,  George  W.  McNary;  agricultural  implements — Kommes 
Brothers;  harness  makers — Jack  \Y.  Alsup.  Hans  Miller;  livestock  dealers 
- — Hensley  &  Dimick;  Livestock  and  grain — Exira  Co-Operative  Co.,  W. 
F.  Williams ;  oil — Standard  Oil  Company,  Mike  Harned ;  hotel — Park 
Hotel,  Mrs.  D.  V.  Wright;  boarding  houses — ^Irs.  Stella  Gearhart,  Noel 
Jobes;  restaurant — 3>lrs.  Susan  Spoo ;  cafe — Wagner  Brothers;  jeweller — 
Peter  ]\f .  Christensen ;  lumber — Green  Bay  Lumber  Company,  Merle  R. 
Terhune.  manager;  Fullerton  Lumber  Compan}-,  H.  P.  Hansen,  manager; 
liveryman — Daniel  Branstater;  garage — Hans  P.  Hansen,  \\'esley  Donald- 
son, Johnson  &  Westphalen ;  auto  repair  shop — Nelson  &  Phillips;  machin- 
ists— Exira  Auto  and  Alachine  Works,  P.  K.  Jensen;  blacksmiths — Andrew 
A.  Andersen,  Nels  L.  Beck ;  lightning  rods — John  Miller ;  contractor  and 
builder,  and  planing  mill — George  C.  \"oss;  Palace  Theater.  Joe  Meurer; 
undertaker — George  L.  Gore;  billiard  hall — Hunt  Brothers;  dressmakers — 


Amber  Kelsey,  Mrs.  Cannon;  pantitoriam — Earl  Thomas;  shoemakers — 
David  Workman,  Gerald  Hensley,  Hans  Miller;  coal  dealers — George  B. 
Gill,  ]Mrs.  Keziah  Pesing,  Peter  Goode;  masons — Joseph  Gearheart,  Jack 
Hinckle,  George  Leffingwell,  Frank  Leffingwell ;  carpenters — Robert  C. 
A\'atterson,  Ad  Watterson,  Grant  Jones,  William  H.  Voss,  Charles  C. 
Johnson,  ^^'illiam  Fulton,  Thomas  Murphy,  Willis  Hinkle,  J.  W.  Kline; 
painters  and  paper  hangers — Kirk  Knox,  William  O.  Scott,  Frank  Schmidt, 
A.  M.  Larsen,  Walter  Larsen,  AI.  W.  Xelsen,  Robert  L.  Houston;  barbers 
— Hugh  Smith.  Bishop  &  Statzell ;  popcorn — Roy  Bolton ;  bus  drivers — 
George  Milliman,  Joseph  Shaw;  draymen — Frank  B.  Heath,  George  Chase, 
F.  H.  Watson;  house  movers — Joe  Chase,  George  Chase;  Commercial  Club, 
F.  J.  Oldaker,  secretary;  Exira  Fady  Boosters,  Maude  Oldaker,  secretary; 
Thursday  Club,  Mrs.  Dolly  Newlon,  president;  Treble  Clef,  Airs.  Hattie 
Witthauer,  president;  Dressmaking  College,  Mrs.  Alice  Connrardy;  tailor. 
A.  W^olcott. 


The  town  was  laid  out  by  the  Chicago,  Rock  Island  &  Pacific  Railroad 
Company,  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  21,  Feroy  township,  Septem- 
ber 2T„  1878.  This  land  was  claimed  and  squatted  on  as  a  homestead  by 
one  Edward  Robinson.  The  growth  of  the  town  was  phenomenal.  It  was 
promoted  not  only  by  the  prestige  of  the  railroad  company,  but  also,  among 
others,  by  the  influence  of  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman  and  Capt.  Charles  Stuart, 
public-spirited  gentlemen,  who  devoted  their  energies  to  building  a  town  in 
the  then  wilderness.  It  started  with  an  auction  sale  of  its  town  lots  on 
October  15,  1878;  and  the  first  day's  sales  aggregated  six  thousand  one  hun- 
dred and  ninety  dollars.  Before  night  work  was  begun  building  business 
houses,  which  continued  vigorously  through  the  winter;  and  for  several 
years  afterward,  and  even  to  the  present  time,  periodically. 

Alex  H.  Roberts,  who  has  since  continuously  lived  at  Audubon,  and 
who  attended  that  lot  sale  and  then  bought  the  lot  upon  which  his  store  is 
now  situated,  on  December  16,  1878,  wrote  to  his  home  paper  at  Mt.  Pleasant, 
Iowa,  an  account  of  the  new  town  of  Audubon,  describing  its  progress,  con- 
ditions, prospects,  etc.  It  is  the  best  account  of  Audubon  at  that  period  yet 
found.    Mr.  Roberts  wrote  : 

"When  I  first  visited  this  place,  October  15,  the  day  the  lots  were  first 
offered  for  sale,  there  was  not  a  completed  house  in  the  place,  and  but  three 
or  four  in  course  of  erection.  Today  we  have  over  fifty  houses  and  the 
dififerent  businesses  are  represented  about  as  follow :     One  bank,  five  general 


stores,  one  jewelry  store,  two  hotels,  one  restaurant,  three  meat  markets, 
three  blacksmith  shops,  one  harness  shop,  one  livery  stable,  two  coal  yards, 
two  lumber  yards,  one  elevator,  three  grain  dealers,  etc.  A  school  house, 
twenty-two  by  thirty  feet,  was  completed  ten  days  ago,  and  school  opened 
last  Monday,  with  fourteen  scholars  and  Bob  Hunter,  teacher.  *  *  * 
The  county  seat  is  located  at  Exira,  a  village  thirteen  miles  from  here,  near 
the  south  end  of  the  county,  and  will,  I  think,  without  doubt,  be  removed  to 
this  place  next  fall.  (Which  proved  to  be  prophetic.)  Although  it  is  now 
mid-winter  and  the  mercury  lingers  near  zero,  yet  the  sound  of  the  saw  and 
hammer  is  to  be  heard  on  all  sides,  and  only  last  week  three  large  business 
houses  were  commenced,  and  I  understand  another  banking  house  and  hard- 
ware store,  two-stories  high,  besides  many  smaller  ones,  are  to  be  built  this 
winter.  *  *  *  -pj^^  railroad  was  completed  December  6,  and  since  that 
time  not  less  than  ten  thousand  bushels  of  corn  have  been  hauled  in  here,  and 
four  carloads  of  wheat  shipped.  A  depot  twenty-four  by  one  hundred  feet 
is  now  being  built." 

A  month  later  a  local  newspaper  contained  a  flaming  description  of  the 
new  city : 

"then  and  now. 

"Don't  it  beat  the  royal  star  spangled  American!  But  a  few  short 
months  ago,  in  the  place  where  we  now  sit,  encircled  by  all  that  exalts  and 
embellishes  civilized  life  (perhaps),  the  rank  thistle  nodded  in  the  wind,  and 
the  wild  polecat  flipped  his  caudal  appendage  in  the  prairie  grass,  or  words 
to  that  effect.  Pshaw !  We  thought  we  were  running  a  Sunday  school  paper 
in  Exira!  It  is  not  often  that  we  get  sentimental!  But  what  we  started  out 
to  say  is  this :  Less  than  four  months  ago  we  roamed  around  over  this  town 
plat,  trying  to  trace  out  the  streets  and  alleys  by  the  short  stakes  planted  a 
short  time  before  in  the  high  prairie  grass.  Not  a  building  had  been  erected, 
and  in  fact  there  were  no  signs  that  any  would  be  erected  for  some  time  to 
come.  The  grass  had  already  been  killed  by  the  autumn  frosts,  and  the  cold 
wind  betokened  winter  at  hand.  .  Nearly  every  one  predicted  that  nothing 
would  be  attempted  in  the  way  of  building  until  springtime.  Today  (Janu- 
ary 22,  1879,)  we  are  sitting  in  a  handsome  two-story  building.  In  the  rear 
room  two  presses  are  running,  and  their  incessant  click !  click !  click !  an- 
nounces that  the  'art  preservative'  has  found  its  way  to  the  'new  town,'  as 
it  was  then  called.  Around  us  are  papers  and  books,  in  profusion,  and  sev- 
eral persons — strangers  to  us  then — some  reading,  some  talking;  but  all  here 
to  make  a  home.    In  front  is  a  fine  street,  and  scores  of  teams  and  busy  people 


hurrying  to  and  fro ;  the  iron  horse  is  snorting  and  puffing  beside  a  magni- 
ficent depot,  and  passengers  are  leaving  the  train  and  hurrying  to  hotels  and 
other  places.  Half  a  dozen  dray  teams  are  hauling  goods  up  the  streets;  the 
hotel  bells  are  ringing  to  call  the  many  new-comer  guests  to  dinner ;  the  sound 
of  the  tools  used  in  nearly  all  trades  can  be  heard;  upward  of  a  hundred  build- 
ings, many  of  them  magnificent  ones,  adorn  the  town  plat,  and  we  see  Audu- 
bon, then  a  naked  tract  of  prairie,  now  a  veritable  and  flourishing  young  city, 
the  liveliest  of  its  age  in  Iowa — as  hundreds  who  see  it  every  day  freely  admit. 
We  venture  the  prediction  that  in  one  year  from  today  the  population  of  the 
place  will  reach  nearly  one  thousand.  And  why  not?  It  is  tributary  to,  and 
will  command,  the  entire  trade  of  as  beautiful  country  as  the  sun  ever  shone 
on,  for  a  distance  of  fifteen  miles,  east,  north  and  west,  and  about  half  that 
distance  south." 


During  the  winter  of  1878-9  the  following  professional  firms  and  busi- 
ness houses  were  established:  Land  agent — Ethelbert  J.  Freeman.  Law- 
yers— Henry  W.  Hanna,  Joseph  L.  Stotts,  Melvin  Nichols,  Nash  &  Phelps, 
J.  Mack  Love,  Frank  M.  Van  Pelt,  Matt  Matthews,  Benjamin  F.  Thacker, 
John  H.  Carroll,  all  from  Exira;  H.  U.  Funk,  John  W.  McCord.  J.  O. 
Andrews,  T.  J.  Reigart.  Physicians — John  D.  Holmes,  from  Hamlin; 
Hugh  Bell,  John  F.  Cloughly,  Joseph  T.  Breniman,  Peter  M.  Sheafor,  R.  H. 
Brown.  Jeweller — Elias  W.  Beghtol.  Railroad  agent — Ebenezer  C.  Brown. 
Hotels — D.  H.  Walker,  from  Exira;  Reynolds  House;  Matthias  &  Gaylord, 
from  Arcadia.  Boarding  house — John  Steiner,  from  Carroll.  Bank — 
Van  Gorder  &  Whitney,  from  Exira.  Drug  stroes — Alex.  H.  Roberts,  from 
Mt.  Pleasant;  William  Claughly,  from  Mitchellville.  General  stores — Ben- 
jamin F.  Howald,  from  Atlantic;  E.  H.  Ryan,  from  Council  Bluff;  E.  M. 
Funk;  Wilson  Burnside,  from  Carroll.  Grocers — Gleason  &  Liindy,  from 
Red  Oak;  J.  F.  Wells,  from  Anita;  A.  S.  Hatch.  Hardware — Martin  & 
Keller,  from  Atlantic;  Stephen  H.  Shryver,  from  Bloomington,  Illinois. 
Furniture  and  undertaking — Horace  Prentice,  from  Mechanicsville.  Meat 
markets — Chester  W.  Wheeler,  from  Viola;  Samuel  Hunter,  from  Exira. 
Livery  stable — Gardner  &  Baxter,  from  Arcadia.  Harness  maker — David 
E.  Soar,  from  Exira.  Shoemaker — John  Both.  Graindealer — Wilson  Burn- 
side,  from  Carroll.  Grain,  lumber,  lime  and  coal — Charley  Stuart  &  Son, 
from  Neponset,  Illinois.  Lumber — A.  A.  Hubbard,  from  Atlantic.  Coal 
and  grain — Frank  H.  Burr,  from  Atlantic.  Contractors  and  builders — 
J.  H.  Carruthers,  H.  C.  Paul,  P.  McKinley.     Drayman— James  A.  Pollett. 

2/0  AUDUBON    COUNTY_,    IOWA. 

Saloons — Sanford  Boatman,  from  Atlantic;  John  Frahm,  from  Davenport; 
J.  E.  Tucker,  from  Boone.     Public  buildings — Railroad  depot,  school  house. 

During  the  year  1879  the  present  court  house  was  erected  by  the  rail- 
road company  and  its  use  was  tendered  to  the  county  for  five  years  free  of 
cost,  in  case  the  county  seat  should  be  brought  to  Audubon.  Charles  Stuart 
&  Son  erected  the  finest  brick  office,  for  their  extensive  business,  of  the  kind 
to  l)e  found  in  Iowa.  At  the  general  election  the  same  year  it  was  voted 
that  the  county  seat  be  changed  from  Exira  to  Audubon,  which  was  accord- 
ingly done. 

The  following  new  business  interests  were  also  established  in  1879: 
Lawyers — John  M.  Griggs,  from  Exira;  A.  E.  Bell.  Dentist — Doctor 
Hoover.  Hotels — E.  Weston,  J.  H.  Grant.  Restaurant  and  bakery — Emil 
Bilharz,  from  Seneca,  Illinois.  Drug  store — Joseph  T.  Breniman.  Mer- 
chants— Lundy  Brothers,  C.  Egbert,  Elkanah  S.  Foster,  John  F.  Consig- 
ney,  Frank  Gleason,  Evan  Davis,  John  H.  Kate,  Mallory  &  Jay,  Noah  Kel- 
ler, Shryver  &  Mundy.  Furniture — O.  C.  Jewett,  \\\  H.  Miller,  Scott 
Brothers.  Agent  for  implements — A\'illiams  &  Morrow.  Meat  market — 
A.  A.  Zaner.  Liverymen — I.  N.  Simpson,  W.  P.  Gardner,  Goodwin  Thomp- 
son. Harness  maker — Louis  Tramp.  Shoemaker — John  Ott.  Barl^er — 
Wilson  D.  Blackwood.  Blacksmiths — Neil  Ross.  Keen  &  Jump,  R.  G. 
Sands,  H.  B.  Wilson.  Milliners — Mrs.  Frank  Gleason,  Mrs.  Newmire,  Miss 
Donaldson.  Photographers — T.  B.  Mendenhall,  I.  E.  Hilsabeck.  Grain 
dealer — George  Gray,  from  Gray.  Lumber  dealer — H.  Umphrey.  Dray- 
men— James  Bennefield,  Joseph  Allee,  A.  H.  Herring,  Joseph  Heath. 
Saloon — Henry  Rohrbeck. 


List  of  men  entitled  to  vote  in  1879:  George  Atkinson,  J.  W.  Bacon, 
F.  A.  Hacker,  H.  C.  McMillan,  Henry  Welch.  I.  N.  Simpson,  Charles  H. 
Tefft,  J.   T.   :^Iinor,  J.   H.   Keese,  J.   H.   Thompson,   W^illiam   Noel,   J.    H. 

Whitman,  L.  M.  Anderson,  N.  R.  Simpson,  I.  W.  Baker, Van  Horn, 

John  Ewing,  Ed.  Robinson,  Henry  McGuire,  John  Steiner,  A.  F.  Loomis, 
George  Frederick,  John  Hoffman,  William  Mallony.  W.  R.  Collins.  \\'ilson 
D.  Blackwood.  John  Frahm.  William  Speas.  Sylvestor  Ary.  J.  H.  Gardner, 
M.  T.  Adams.  John  W.  Griffin.  Nick  Roth,  James  Holland,  Wilson  Burn- 
side,  S.  W.  Smith,  Daniel  \\\  Matthias,  John  Gorner,  Ed.  McMahon.  W. 
D.  Bates.  J.  Bartlett.  W.  C.  Lleckendorn.  A.  M.  Smith.  J.  C.  Shutes.  Arthur 
L.  Sanborn,  J.  Schryver,  J.  H.  Thorpe,  J.  H.  Brayton,  William  J.  Myers, 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  .  27 1 

J.  F.  Wells,  E.  F.  Fales,  Frank  Hobart,  N.  T.  Fraker,  Harry  Collins, 
Charles  Newmire,  R.  A.  Chaplin,  John  Cartwright,  A.  A.  Zaner,  F.  M. 
Ellis.  Ed.  B.  Cousins,  Frank  H.  Burr,  J.  D.  Sleeper,  J.  F.  Ford,  E.  M.  Funk, 
William  Hastings,  H.  A.  Arnold,  John  Martin,  Henry  Atkeson,  J.  W.  Pol- 
lett,  Joseph  L.  Stotts,  Henry  Hester,  Gideon  Williams,  H.  G.  Walters,  M. 
W.  Decker.  M.  D.  Baily,  Henry  E.  Cole,  I.  L.  Dermond,  C.  C.  Ellett,  E.  C. 
Honewell,  James  A.  Scott,  J.  W.  Lewis,  I.  P.  Baker.  W.  Tulbert.  J.  O.  And- 
rews. E.  C.  Meacham,  H.  H.  Willis,  J.  F.  Esty,  Harry  Loomis,  Charles 
Buck,  Michael  Boust,  J.  T.  Pryor.  Samuel  Hunter,  James  McVay,  Hans 
Frahm,  I.  E.  Hilsabeck,  John  Coquillett,  Elisha  Baxter,  Neil  Ross,  John 
Schreck,  John  Holland,  Mixe  Loy,  Ebenezer  C.  Brown,  George  Cox,  A.  C. 

Gaylord,  H.  C.  Paul,  Sylvester  K.  Landis,  — Rutherford,  P.  Kearney, 

John  C.  Wilson,  C.  M.  Maddox,  O.  W.  Andrews,  Stephen  H.  Schryver, 
Benjamin  F.  Thacker,  Eaton,  Emerson  H.  Kimball.  D.  A.  Rails- 
back,  Charles  Knox,  George  S.  Knox,  J.  C.  Williams,  J.  E.  Tucker,  Henry 
Newmire,  John  Dunn,  M.  N.  Marble,  Charles  Mesorve,  George  W.  Ellis, 
Alex.  Fowler,  W.  P.  Clark,  Chester  W.  Wheeler.  H.  U.  Funk,  George  N. 
Funk,  Lee  Funk,  Sammie  P.  Rhoads,  Joseph  Gaylord,  Henry  Engleking, 
J.  H.  Grant.  J.  W.  Louder.  P.  McKinley,  D.  H.  Walker,  Robert  M.  Hub- 
bard. Byron  S.  Phelps,  A.  F.  Rogers,  H.  W.  Van  Gorder,  Emiel  Bilharz, 
T.  V.  Donovan,  Louis  Meyer,  Benjamin  F.  Howald,  Conrad  Reinhart,  D. 
F.  Shocklin,  William  Cloughly,  Frank  Ewens,  James  Chandler,  James  Mc- 

Canna,    Evan   Davis.   Thomas   C.   Lundy,   Johnson,    Daniel   Lynch, 

C.  G.  Moore,  Hiram  M.  Talbot,  John  Both,  J.  M.  I.  Bryan,  Alex.  H. 
Roberts,  John  D.  Holmes,  G.  W.  Newcomer,  George  Keene,  James  B.  Elrod, 
Lewis  Watson,  Robert  Cobean,  Noah  Keller,  Del  Graves,  T.  T.  Reigrart, 
David  Newport,  James  Warke,  Hugh  Bell,  J.  A.  Miller,  Ethelbert  J.  Free- 
man. John  F.  Cloughly,  E.  Krollman,  L  A.  McKinney,  S.  W.  McManegal, 
George  W.  Myers,  Frank  Gleason,  William  H.  Scott,  A.  C.  Lewis,  Bruce 
Moore,  Elias  W.  Beghtol,  John  Burnes,  M.  Dubois,  James  T.  Bell,  S.  B. 
Johnson,  L.  Smith. 


While  the  town  was  laid  out  and  owned,  primarily,  by  the  railroad 
company,  the  genius  who  presided  over  it,  directed  and  promoted  its  rise  and 
progress  was  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman.  He  was  born  at  Flatwood,  Pennsyl- 
vania, September  22,  1840,  and  was  reared  a  farmer  until  sixteen  years  of 
age.  In  1857  he  went  to  McDonough  county,  Illinois,  where  he  worked 
two  years  as  a  carpenter.     He  returned  and  remained  in  Pennsylvania  one 


year,  and  then  went  back  to  Illinois.  On  May  24,  1861,  he  enlisted  from 
Vermont,  ihinois,  as  a  private  in  Company  A,  Sixteenth  Regiment,  Illinois 
Volunteer  Infantry,  and  served  in  the  Second  Brigade,  Second  Division, 
Fourteenth  Army  Corps,  under  Gen.  John  M.  Palmer,  and  Generals  Pope 
and  Rosecrans.  Mr.  Freeman  participated  in  the  battles  of  Blue  Mills, 
Island  No.  10,  Tiptonville,  Farmington  and  Stone's  River.  He  was  dis- 
charged for  disability,  February  5,  1863,  returned  to  McDonough  county, 
and  engaged  in  farming. 

Ethelbert  J.  Freeman  was  married  in  McDonough  county  on  Septem- 
ber 2^),  1862,  to  Nancy  L.,  daughter  of  Daniel  L.  and  Mary  (Hamilton) 
Leighty.  In  1867  he  moved  to  Exira,  and  the  following  year  settled  on  and 
improved  a  one  hundred  and  sixty-acre  farm  in  section  24,  Leroy  township. 
In  1878  he  established  his  home  in  Audubon.  He  was  justly  styled  "father 
of  the  town,"  if  any  one  was  ever  entitled  to  such  an  appellation;  and  has 
been  so  regarded  to  the  present  time.  He  was  first  and  foremost  in  most 
public,  social  and  political  affairs;  at  least  one  of  the  most  popular  men  who 
ever  lived  in  the  county.  His  influence  was  extensive  and  controlling  in 
many  ways.  He  was  prominent  in  the  incorporation  of  the  town,  and  was  . 
its  first  mayor,  without  a  dissenting  vote;  and  was  very  efficient  in  estab- 
lishing the  schools  at  Audulx)n.  He  was  agent  for  the  sale  of  the  railroad 
lands  and  the  town  lots;  assisted  in  the  establishment  of  lodges;  the  Grand 
Army  post,  the  band  and  drum  corps,  the  fire  department,  county  fair;  and 
in  installing  the  water  works  and  the  electric  light  plant. 

Mr.  Freeman  was  county  treasurer  in  1882-5.  Andrew  F.  Armstrong 
and  Mr.  Freeman  were  owners  of  the  Citizens  Bank  from  1885  to  1893. 
For  many  years  Mr.  Freeman  was  manager  of  the  waterworks  and  electric 
light  plant;  chief  of  the  fire  department;  member  of  the  band  and  drum 
corps.  He  was  a  member  of  V'eritas  Lodge  No.  392,  Ancient  Free  and 
Accepted  Masons;  xA.mity  Chapter  No.  92,  Royal  Arch  Masons;  Godfrey 
Commandery  No.  44,  Knights  Templar;  Allison  Post  No.  34,  Grand  iVrmy 
of  the  Republic. 

At  the  National  Encampment  of  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic,  at 
Minneapolis  in  1906,  ]\Ir.  Freeman  was  elected  president  of  the  National 
Association  of  Civil  War  ^Musicians,  and  was  afterward  annually  re-elected 
until  the  encampment  at  Rochester,  New  York,  191 1,  when  he  was  elected 
to  the  same  office  for  life.  This  is  an  unique  society,  composed  of  veteran 
drummers,  fifers,  buglers  and  bandmen,  of  the  Civil  War,  from  all  over 
the  United  States ;  who  play  the  same  old  tunes  after  which  the  Union 
soldiers  marched  from  1861  to  1865.     Mr.  Freeman  has  marched  with  his 









musicians  at  the  head  of  the  parade  at  every  National  Encampment  from 
Denver,  in  1905,  until  the  present  time. 


Another  prominent  patron  of  the  town  was  Capt.  Charles  Stuart.  He 
was  born  in  West  Barnet,  Vermont,  June  7,  1826.  On  December  23,  1852, 
he  was  married  to  Lois  Gray,  of  Ryegate,  Vermont.  He  was  reared  a 
farmer.  In  1848  he  established  a  general  store  at  South  Ryegate.  In 
1855  he  went  to  Chicago,  where  he  was  employed  by  Fairbanks  &  Company, 
the  famous  scale  manufacturers.  During  the  same  period  he  opened  a  farm 
in  Elmira  township.  Stark  county.  Illinois,  near  Neponset,  which  he  owned 
until  after  coming  to  Audubon  county.  He  was  founder  of  the  town  of 
Stuart,  Iowa,  where  he  was  a  large  landowner,  and  conducted  an  extensive 
business.  Before  the  town  of  Audubon  started  he  and  his  son,  William  G. 
Stuart,  were  owners  of  several  thousand  acres  of  the  best  farm  lands  in 
Audubon  county,  which  they  put  under  a  high  state  of  cultivation ;  stocked 
it  with  horses,  cattle,  hogs,  etc.,  and  conducted  farming  on  an  extensive 
scale.  Charles  Stuart  was  captain  of  Company  B,  Nineteenth  Regiment, 
Illinois  Volunteer  Infantry.  He  enlisted  on  July  30,  1861  ;  resigned  July 
15,  1862.  He  was  full  of  activity,  progressive,  public  spirited,  and  gen- 
erous.    His  name  stood  foremost  as  a  business  man  in  Audubon  county. 

To  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman,  Capt.  Charles  Stuart,  the  railroad  company 
and  the  Audubon  newspapers  was  largely  due  the  credit  for  the  removal  of 
the  county  seat  from  Exira  to  Audubon. 

Charles  Stuart  &  Son  were  among  the  first  and  ablest  promoters  of  the 
town.  They  were  the  leading  dealers  in  grain,  lumber,  lime  and  coal,  and 
erected  the  largest  grain  elevator  in  the  county,  and  built  one  of  the  finest 
brick  offices  for  that  kind  of  business  in  the  state  of  Iowa.  They  extended 
branches  of  the  same  kind  of  business  to  Exira,  Gray,  and  other  places  in 
Iowa,  outside  of  the  county.  Mrs.  Lois  Stuart  was  the  most  wealthy  person 
who  has  lived  in  the  county,  and  was  the  most  generous  patron  of  the  Pres- 
byterian church,  at  Audubon.  Captain  Stuart  and  his  wife  and  their  son, 
William  G.  Stuart,  are  all  buried  in  the  cemetery  at  Audubon. 


The  town  was  incorporated  in   1886. 

The  following  named  men  have  served  as  mayor  of  Audubon:     Ethel- 


bert  J.  Freeman,  J.  Mack  Love,  John  D.  Holmes,  Charles  Bagley,  Andrew 
F.  Armstrong,  Henry  W.  Hanna,  Ransom  L.  Harris,  John  A.  Nash,  Robert 
C.  Spencer,  Halleck  J.  Mantz. 

The  first  postmaster  was  Arthur  L.  Sanborn,  appointed  February  15, 
1879,  succeeded  by  Emerson  H.  Kimball,  Elkanah  S.  Foster,  Robert  M. 
Carpenter,  Ed.  B.  Cousins,  William  H.  O'Connell,  George  B.  Russell, 
Harper  \Y.  ^^"ilson,  Robert  C.  Spencer. 

The  Northwestern  railroad  came  from  Carroll,  by  way  of  Manning  and 
Troy,  to  Audubon,  in  1882. 

The  waterworks  was  established  in  1882.  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman  was 
the  superintendent  for  many  years,  and  was  succeeded  by  Benton  L.  Dar- 
nold,  the  present  manager.  The  town  is  now  supplied  with  water  from  an 
artesian  well  made  in  19 13-14,  two  thousand  five  hundred  feet  deep,  at  the 
cost  of  elevent  thousand  dollars. 

The  electric  light  plant  was  installed  in  1891,  by  Ethelbert  J.  Freeman, 
and  was  transferred  to  Nancy  L.  Freeman  in  1897.  It  was  superintended 
many  years  by  \It.  Freeman ;  and  was  transferred  to  A\\  G.  \\'ieland,  the 
present  owner.  It  furnishes  electric  lights  for  the  towns  of  Hamlin  and 

The  business  interests  in  1888,  were  as  follow :  Attorneys — H.  F. 
Andrews.  John  'M.  Griggs,  H.  W.  Hanna.  Nash,  Phelps  &  Green,  Henry  U. 
Funk,  A.  F.  Armstrong.  Charles  Bagley,  E.  H.  Hurd,  Frank  E.  Brainard, 
Theodore  F.  Myres.  E.  E.  Byrum.  Physicians — John  D.  Halmer,  John  F. 
Cloughly,  Charles  W.  DeMotte,  James  ]\I.  Rendleman.  Alfred  L.  Brooks. 
Jewellers — ^^'illiam  H.  O'Connell.  \\'illiam  H.  Cowles.  Hotels — Walker 
House,  Stuart  House,  Grant  House,  Weston  House,  Northwestern.  Res- 
taurant— ^^'illiam  Rosenberg.  Banks — Audubon  County  Bank.  Commer- 
cial Bank.  Citizen's  Bank.  Drug  stores — Alex.  H.  Roberts,  O.  J.  Houston, 
A\'illiam  Cloughly,  John  F.  Cloughly.  General  stores — Russell  &  Son,  Ben- 
jamin F.  Howald.  John  Van  Scoy,  R.  Lenox.  Grocers — John  F.  Consig- 
ney,  Frank  Gleason,  Emiel  Bilharz,  Fisher  Brothers,  Will  D.  Forl^es,  T.  S. 
Francis.  \\\  Talbot.  Clothing — John  H.  Kate,  Evan  Davis,  D.  C.  Abrams. 
Hardware — Jones  &:  McKarahan.  John  Rinemund.  Furniture — Scott 
Brothers.  ^^^  H.  ]\Iiller.  Boots  and  shoes — J.  Forbes  &  Son.  Millinery — 
Miss  Dix,  Miss  Walker.  Photographers — C.  C.  Harper,  T.  B.  Mendenhall. 
Opera  house — George  B.  Russell.  Harness  makers — David  E.  Soar.  Harper 
W.  Wilson.  Shoemakers — John  Ott.  John  Both.  Blacksmiths — ^^James 
Pound.  George  Keen.  H.  B.  Wilson,  H.  A.  Jump.  Liverymen — Joseph  P. 
Tharnish.     Isham     Brothers,     Charles     Benton.     Meat     Markets — Prather 


Brothers,  Doak  &  Company.  ^Marble  works — H.  W.  Van  Gordon.  Flour- 
mill — Kuhn,  Culver  &  Company.  Machinery  and  implements — McFarland, 
Dickey  and  Company,  Clark  H.  Cross.  Grain  dealers — Charles  Stuart  & 
Son,  George  Gray,  Wilson  Burnside,  Henry  Gravesmuhl,  Herbert  &  John- 
son. Lumber  dealers — Charles  Stuart  &  vSon,  Green  Bay  Lumber  Company. 
Brick  yard — Charles  Tramp. 


Some  of  the  best  residences  in  Audubon  are  those  of :  Belle  Arnold, 
Alex.  H.  Roberts,  Charles  Van  Gorder,  Charly  S.  White,  Robert  C.  Spencer, 
William  J.  Laubender,  Daniel  L.  Freeman,  Charles  Bagley,  Joseph  H.  Ross, 
Alfred  L.  Brooks,  George  A.  Alay,  George  W.  Weighton,  Ed.  B.  Cousins, 
x\rthur  Farquhar,  Ed.  S.  Van  Gorder,  George  W.  Hoover,  A.  C.  Harman, 
John  Weighton,  Frank  O.  Niklason,  Mary  Plaehn,  John  Ebert,  Joseph  Kopp, 
Lois  Asby,  Ed.  F.  Bilharz,  A.  S.  Culver,  T.  H.  Turner,  R.  G.  Wieland, 
George  W.  Preston,  Mr.  Hermansen,  Samuel  A.  Graham,  J.  J.  Ruhs,  Levi 
Kopp,  John  Wagner,  Frank  M.  Rice,  Ed.  F.  Johnson,  C.  L.  Christinsen, 
I^ewis  C.  Bagley,  Charles  Ping,  Anna  Fancher,  George  Scott,  L  P.  Hansen, 
Mike  T.  Foley,  Ed.  A.  Bates,  W.  S.  Hansen,  M.  O.  Kingsbury,  William 
Layland,  Frank  C.  ]\Iiller,  William  G.  Wilson,  W^  H.  Cowles,  William 
Berg,  Elmer  E.  Bailey,  Fred  A.  Buthweg,  James  E.  Griffith,  Charles  Rey- 
nolds, F.  S.  Stone,  C.  H.  Wilde,  R.  F.  Childs,  Fideler  Schmidt,  George 
Wever,  P.  A.  Rasmussen,  Ed.  A.  Beason,  Sarah  Munson,  J.  J.  Haals,  Owen 
Davis,  Anthony  N.  Detwiler,  Thomas  J.  Stafford,  Samuel  Weaver. 

During  the  current  year,  191 5,  the  city  is  installing  a  substantial,  up-to- 
date  sewer  system,  at  the  cost  of  about  thirty-five  thousand  dollars. 


The  school  system  of  Audubon  is  very  satisfactory  and  up-to-date.  The 
first  school  house  was  a  one-story,  wooden  building,  built  in  1878,  and  now 
owned  by  John  Graham,  on  Tracy  street.  Robert  Hunter  was  the  first 
teacher,  1878-9.     He  was  succeeded  by  Kate  Cameron. 

At  a  special  election  held  at  Audubon,  at  five  o'clock  in  the  afternoon 
of  May  31,  1879,  with  Elisha  Baxter,  Elias  W.  Beghton  and  M.  H.  Marble, 
judges,  and  Emerson  H.  Kimball,  clerk;  it  was  voted  to  organize  the  inde- 
pendent school  district  of  Audubon,  embracing  sections  20,  21,  28,  29,  south 
half  of  section  16,  south  half  of  section  17,  south  west  quarter  of  section  15, 


west  half  of  section  22,  and  west  half  of  section  z'j;  all  in  township  80,  range 
35  west;  by  a  vote  of  one  hundred  and  seventeen  to  one. 

At  an  election  held  at  Audubon  on  July  5,  1879,  the  first  board  of 
directors  of  the  independent  district  was  elected,  viz. :  E.  M.  Funk,  Thomas 
C.  Lundy,  Alex.  H.  Roberts,  Noah  Keller,  Wilson  Burnside  and  Frank 
H.  Burr.  The  board  met  and  organized  on  July  11,  1879,  and  selected  Ethel- 
bert  J.  Freeman,  secretary,  and  Elias  W.  Beghtol,  treasurer. 

Late  in  1879  or  early  the  next  year,  the  district  completed  a  new  wooden, 
two-story,  four-room  building,  on  the  site  of  the  present  school  house. 
George  N.  Funk  was  the  next  teacher,  assisted  by  Sarah  Dustin.  George 
I.  Miller  was  superintendent  from  1882  to  1884,  inclusive,  probably.  It  is 
supposed  that  the  school  was  graded  under  his  superintendency.  J.  A.  Horn- 
berger  was  superintendent  from  about  1885  to  1887,  inclusive.  During  his 
term  a  brick  addition  was  erected  in  the  rear  of  the  former  wooden  struc- 
ture, and  the  wooden  front  of  the  house  veneered  with  brick.  The  first 
high  school  class  was  graduated  under  him  in  1886. 

In  the  fall  of  1887,  Z.  T.  Hawk  became  superintendent,  and  served  four 
years.  There  were  then  eight  school  rooms  and  four  hundred  and  sixteen 
pupils  enrolled.  The  subordinate  teachers  were :  Ella  M.  Stearns,  Lura 
Beason,  DeEtta  Foster,  Oma  S.  Yaggy,  Emma  Hawk,  Ada  Funk,  E.  H. 
Hurd,  Miss  S.  E.  Turner  and  Cora  Ott. 

Frank  P.  Hocker  succeeded  Mr.  Hawk,  in  the  fall  of  1891,  and  served 
fourteen  years.  His  assistants  were :  Miss  S.  E.  Turner,  Ella  M.  Stearns, 
Lura  Beason,  DeEtta  Smith,  Mrs.  E.  J.  Brown.  Vesta  Baxter.  Cora  Ott, 
Ada  Funk.  Effie  Rogers,  Harriet  Bilharz,  Jennie  F.  Riggs.  C.  K.  Lancelot, 
Miss  Green,  Miss  Norris,  Miss  Culver,  Miss  Musson,  Mrs.  Rosemond,  Miss 
Shellenberger,  Miss  Detwiler,  Mrs.  Buthweg,  Mrs.  Fish,  Miss  Lundy.  Alta 
Crow,  Miss  Morrissey,  Miss  Wilson,  Belle  Lancelot.  Eva  Luce,  Beulah  Soar, 
Helen  Dickinson,  Mary  Davis,  Miss  Doak,  Orpha  Baxter,  Ella  Hurd,  Bertha 
Ferguson,  Lillian  Ott,  Dora  Larson,  Elizabeth  Carmichel.  Frances  Burns, 
Ada  Kuhn,  ]\Iildred  Smith.  Vera  Miles,  Mae  Mcllvain. 

In  1893,  a  new  brick  building  of  two  rooms  for  a  primary  department 
was  erected.  During  Mr.  Hocker's  superintendence  the  school  became  an 
accredited  high  school  in  the  state. 

In  1903  a  new  brick  building  was  erected  in  place  of  the  old  veneered 
part  of  the  former  structure.  The  school  house  as  then  constructed  gave 
very  general  satisfaction. 

Frank  J.  Mantz  succeeded  Mr.  Hocker  in  the  fall  of  1905  and  served 
four  vears.     His  assistants  were :     Ella   M.   Stearns,   x\vis   Gordon,    Nellie 


Wicker,  Mable  Keith,  Anna  Weaver,  Ruby  Fatten,  Elizabeth  Harris,  Fan 
Lilly,  Nellie  Tomkins,  Miss  Low,  Miss  Brown,  Marie  Wolff,  Miss  Yokum, 
Patience  Ellett. 

Harry  P.  Smith  succeeded  Mr.  Mantz  in  the  fall  of  1909,  and  served 
until  1915.  His  corps  of  assistants  have  been:  F.  W.  Johansen,  Caroline 
Schictl,  Isa  Lighthall,  Theo  Vedder,  Mable  Keith,  Mary  Davis,  Ella  Hurd, 
Patience  Ellett,  Ethel  Glass,  Goldie  Cozine,  Marie  Wolff,  Sarah  Edes,  Maud 
McAllister,  Jennie  Cook,  Mae  McClure,  Georgia  Lloyd,  Grace  Hollway, 
Coleen  Pa;tterson,  Helen  Turner,  C.  E.  Latterback,  Bertha  Ross,  Carrie 
Berger,  Lillian  Stetzler,  Lenore  Buckner,  Ella  McGuire,  Lura  Preston,  June 

The  kindergarten  was  added  to  the  school  system  in  1909. 

The  high  school  was  admitted  to  the  North  Central  Association  of 
Colleges  and  Secondary  Schools,  in  191 1.  Fred  W.  Johansen  is  the  present 
superintendent  (1915)  and  the  school  now  employs  a  corps  of  subordinate 
teachers.  Beginning  with  the  year  1886,  the  high  school  has  subsequently, 
each  year,  graduated  a  class  of  students.  The  citizens  of  Audubon  are  now 
agitating  the  question  of  erecting  a  new  high  school  building. 


Class  of  1886— Eva  Freeman,  Nellie  Cole,  James  M.  Graham. 

Class  of  1887 — Bonnie   Stotts,   Mertie   Gleason,   Lena   Rosenberg. 

Class  of  1888 — Edwin  Van  Gorder,  Edward  Bilharz,  Lillian  Ott, 
Maggie  Gleason. 

Class  of  1890 — Vesta  Baxter,  William  Oliver. 

Class  of  1 89 1 — Mary  Davis,  Mary  DeMotte.  Fred  Gleason,  Oscar 
Overholtzer,   Pearl  Roberts,   Clara  Blakeslee,   Laura  Musson. 

Class  of  1892 — Samuel  Yaggy,  Agnes  Wolf,  Myrtle  Wilson,  Har- 
riet Bilgarz,  Frank  Cross,  Maggie  DeMott,  Mollie  Delahoyde,  Harry  Dickin- 
son, Laura  Forbes,  Roy  Funk,  Katie  Overholtzer,  India  Poulson,  Ralph  Rob- 
erts, Myrtle  Sharp,  Lizzie  Schreiber,  Beulah  Soar,  Flettie  Van  Scoy. 

Class  of  1893 — Mamie  Baxter,  May  Bonwell,  Gertrude  Bonwell,  Car- 
rie Cooley,  Irene  Crocker,  Will  Cunningham,  Sarah  Holmes,  Mabel  Keith, 
Albert  Mathias,  Rosie  Mendenhall,  Jennie  Oliver,  Kittie  Schrieber,  Eva 

Class  of  1894 — Jessie  Andrews,  Fred  Blume,  Orpha  Baxter,  Rena  Car- 
roll, Emma  Culver,  Patience  Ellett,  Ellis  Harper,  Earl  Jump,  Frank  Mantz, 
Ethel  Reese,  Charles  Bradley,  Rose  Sharp,  Julia  Wilson. 


Class  of  1895 — Lena  Drury,  Ollie  Fergusen,  Charles  Huntsburger,  Gus 
Keith,  Eva  Luse,  Bertha  Mussen,  Woods  Soar. 

Class  of  1896 — Will  Baylor,  Grace  Creveling,  ]\Iae  Schreiber,  Myrtle 
Stotts,  Charles  Tramp,  Nellie  Wicker. 

Class  of  1897 — Nelson  Cowles,  Dora  Detwiler,  Maude  Doak,  Bertha 
Fergusen,  Frank  Green,  Edith  Harris,  Lillian  Hays,  Louis  Roberts;  Clara 
Luse,  Loween  Van  Gorder,  Anna  Wever,  George  Wever. 

Class  of  1898 — Myrtle    Brown,    Maurice    Carpenter,    Walter    Haynes, 
Auda  Kelly,  Nora  Oelke,  Bodo  Oelke,  Harry  Sampson,  Irma  Tharnish. 

Class  of  1899 — Disy  Anderson,  Charles  Burnside,  Hugh  Delahoyde, 
Orren  Eddy,  Frank  Drake,  Ada  Kuhn,  Alice  Aloon,  William  McFarlane, 
Roy  Smith. 

Class  of  1900 — Harvey  Delahoyde,  Don  Drake,  Wren  Graham,  Mabel 
Hays,  Nora  Hunt,  John  Lohner,  Jessie  Luse,  Capitola  Mathias,  Grace  Miller, 
Susie  Musson,  Alma  Oelke,  Lovise  Overholtzer,  Clarence  Shingledecker, 
Mary  Smith,  Teressa  Stanton,  Edna  Webster. 

Class  of  1 90 1 — Ruth  Anderson,  ]\Iay  Hoover,  May  Hunt,  Charles 
Johnson,  Wiliner  Kester,  Ethel  Kuhn,  Earl  ]\laharg,  Russell  Mott,  George 
Oelke,  Eleanor  Ohm,  Mildred  Smith,  Gay  Thomas. 

No  1902  class  because  the  course  was  lengthened  to  four  years. 

Class  of  1903 — Ray  Dryden,  John  Horning,  Isalielle  ^IcFarlane, 
Elmer  McKarahan,  Mamie  ]\lichaels.  Frank  Mott,  Nettie  Pearson,  Matt 
Rippey,  Frank  Sampson,  Edith  Tovvnsend,  Harry  Watts,  Marie  Wolff. 

Class  of  1904 — Grace  Cameron,  John  Cameron,  Ruby  Currier,  Jason 
Imes,  John  Krick,  Murtle  Ross,  Cora  Sampson,  Louis  Watson. 

Class  of  i905^Franc  Anderson,  Anna  Artist,  Annetta  Earhart,  Curtis 
Earhart,  Oliver  Gardner,  William  Kile,  Veda  Masterson,  Clara  Oelke,  Drusa 
Ross,  Helen  Walburn. 

Class  of  1906 — Lucile  Brooks,  Clifford  Brooks,  John  Donaldson,  Alice 
Eddy.  Ray  Green,  Martha  Hubbold,  IMarion  Jones,  Mae  Layland,  Mabel 
McKarahan,  Lena  Pound,  Bessie  Rippey,  Ruth  Watson. 

Class  of  1907 — Mae  Johnson.  Charles  Watts,  Belle  Donaldson,  ]\Iiles 
Gardner,  Charles  Nelson,  Earl  Kile,  Frank  McFadden,  Louis  Bagley,  Jessie 
Hoover,  Ethel  Eckles,  Lula  Doak,  Minta  Eddy,  Bonna  Sherman,  Thressa 
Gaston,  ]\Iarie  Adams. 

Class  of  1908 — Inez  Gates,  Frank  Hays,  Augista  Hecker,  Julius  Hecker, 
Fred  Jones,  Grace  Kibby,  Bonna  Jones,  Wren  Lane,  Harr}^  Laubender, 
Hazel  Law.  Agnes  Lutwitze,  Theo.  Mantz.  Fern  Parnham,  Garcia  Swartz. 

■  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  2/9 

Augusta    Tennigkeit,    Faye    Titterington,    Bessie    Watson,    Anna    Wilson, 
Bessie  Harris. 

Class  of  1909 — Fannie  Ditzenberger,  Anna  Henriksen,  Glen  Hunter, 
Glen  Johnson,  Hazel  Kellogg,  Clyde  Keith,  Warren  Leonard,  Edith  Leighty, 
Clara  Lutwitze,  Florence  Marriott,  Elloween  Phelps. 

Class  of  19 10 — Clark  Arnold,  Simon  Foley,  Hazel  Gates,  Alarch  Jones, 
James  Law,  George  Laubender,  Edith  Phelps,  Julia  Preston,  Lela  Zaner. 

Class  of  191 1 — Harley  Boyer,  Eugene  Christensen,  Ahce  Gardner, 
Daniel  Hecker,  Edward  Heuerman,  lola  Johnson,  Olive  Kopp,  Gibson  Law, 
Oliver  Lovelace,  Ruth  Preston,  Lula  Sheets,  Hazel  Steere,  Hazel  Weldy, 
Leona  Wilson. 

Class  of  191 2 — Frank  Bagley,  Alma  Christensen,  Elvin  Cole,  Lucile 
Culver,  Lillian  Foley,  Lorraine  Graham,  Alice  Kraus,  Lorena  Marriott,  Ila 
McFadden,  Edwin  Preston,  Blair  Rice,  Genevieve  Roth,  Effie  Skinner,  Eva 
Smith,  Helen  Ward. 

Class  of  19 1 3 — Emma  Boust,  Thomas  Blake,  Tressa  Brady,  Lorenzo 
Brooks,  Mildred  Buck,  Ava  Buthweg,  Helen  Conway,  Veire  Cozine,  Am- 
brose Foley,  Marguerite  Foley,  Mabel  Hood,  Leonard  Keese,  John  Kerwin, 
Alice  Kester,  Clarence  Niklason,  Freda  Schwab. 

Class  of  19 14 — Escol  Baker,  Olga  Christensen,  Edith  Culver,  Ellen  Gra- 
ham, Carrie  Herndon,  Florence  Hood,  Leon  Johnson,  Cecil  Keith,  Esther 
Keith.  Alichael  Kerwin,  Laura  Kraul,  Marie  Kraus,  Florence  McLeran, 
Louis  McLeran,  Reuben  Musson,  Eldo  Potter,  Esther  Rasmussen,  Pearl 
Reinemund,  Myrtle  Roth,  Freda  Ruhs,  William  Spilker,  Helen  Stearns, 
Earnest  Steere,  Glenn  Turner,  Lucile  Wright. 

Class  of  19 1 5 — Marion  Bagley,  Eloise  Buck,  Arthur  Cole,  Genevieve 
Foley,  Jennie  Hollenbeck,  Esther  Jacobsen,  Roy  Jensen,  Holger  Jensen, 
Walter  Kester.  Bessie  Miller,  Harry  Nailor,  Ella  Petersen,  John  Rutherford, 
Vera  Rutherford,  Bessie  Turner,  Rose  Weighton,  ]\Iabel  Weldy. 


At  the  present  time  Audubon  has  a  population  of  two  thousand  and 
eighty.  The  following  is  a  business  directory  of  the  city:  Mayor — Halleck 
J.  Mantz.  Marshal — Benton  L.  Darnold.  Clerk — William  J.  Laubender. 
Assessor — A.  L.  Weaver.  Treasurer — Charles  L.  Johnson.  Justice  of  the 
peace — Charles  S.  White,  Daniel  L.  Thomas.  Constables — L.  AL  Anderson, 
Wesley  H.  Jay.  Township  clerk — Daniel  L.  Freeman.  Postmaster — 
Robert  C.  Spencer.     Lawyers — John  'M.  Griggs,  Charles  Bagley,  James  M. 


Graham,  John  A.  Graham,  Joseph  H.  Ross,  Charles  S.  White,  Halleck  J. 
Mantz,  Lewis  C.  Bagley,  Sidney  C.  Kerberg.  Physicians — Alfred  L. 
Brooks,  Ratford  F.  Childs,  John  M.  P'ulton,  George  A.  May,  Daniel  Frank- 
lin, William  H.  Halloran.  Chiropractor — M.  O.  Kingsbury.  Dentists — 
Carrie  Wood,  Charles  S.  McLeran,  John  K.  Donaldson.  Veterinary  surg- 
eons— George  W.  Weighton,  Will  Ellery,  James  Hollenbeck. 

Clergymen — Rev.  Ed.  B.  Cousins,  Rev.  Thomas  B.  Greenlee,  Rev. 
Jackson  Giddens,  Rev.  Clinton  F.  Smith,  Rev.  Father  James  McDonald, 
Rev.  D.  ^V.  Bryant,  Rev.  J.  P.  Christensen.  Railroad  agents — W.  W. 
Smith,  Jesse  A.  Hunniston.  Photagraphers — Thomas  Mason,  Sorensen  Stu- 
dio. Music  store — J.  W.  Landrum,  manager.  Cornet  band — D.  F.  Gifford. 
Music  teachers — D.  F.  Gifford,  Bessie  Wilde,  Martha  Dunn,  Mrs.  George 
Green.  Public  library — Laura  V.  Delahoyde,  librarian.  Milliners — Long 
&  Burr,  Mrs.  L.  E.  Kline,  Mrs.  Ben  Carr.  Dressmakers — Mary  McGuire, 
Mrs.  Hecker,  Mary  McCarthy,  Mrs.  E.  E.  Weeks,  Clara  Anderson,  Mrs. 
J.  H.  Thorp.  Dressmaker  colleges — Belle  B.  Smith.  Frances  Morrissey. 
Jewelers — William  H.  Cowles,  J.  S.  Johnson.  Tailors — J.  R.  Best,  C.  J. 
Thomsen.  Abstracters — Charles  Bagley,  Arnold,  Ross  &  Rasmussen.  Insur- 
ance agents — Ralph  D.  Hawks,  S.  B.  Morrissey.  Life  insurance — Arthur 
Farquhar,  V.  M.  Jones.  Real  estate  agents — Frank  M.  Herndon,  E.  H. 
Jacobsen.  Popcorn — Alex.  Ferguson.  Barbers — Bert  A.  Keith,  William  Bai- 
ley, Jens  J.  Haals,  E.  E.  Weeks. 

First  National  Bank — F.  S.  Watts,  cashier.  Farmers  State  Bank — 
H.  M.  Bilharz,  cashier.  Blacksmiths — E.  M.  Johnson,  Rasmus  Rasmussen, 
B.  F.  Wilson,  P.  Fredericksen.  Carpenters — Hermansen  &  Stone.  Jens 
Loss,  Walter  Fredericksen,  Jacob  Mogg,  A.  H.  Dollahide,  James  Petersen, 
John  Hepp,  George  Green.  Painters  and  paper-hangers — E.  E.  Bailey,  J.  K. 
Jensen,  Ping  Brothers  Mumfgaard  &  Kjer,  Clem  McCuen,  D.  J.  Conklin  & 
Son,  Harry  Gleason,  Nels  Paag.  Colonel  Fenney.  Plumbers — Test  Plumb- 
ing Company,  A.  T.  Smith.  Masons — Robert  G.  Ping,  Kelley  &  Gaston, 
Koch  &  Lund.  Harnessmakers — David  E.  Soar,  A.  M.  Currier,  Martin 
Larsen.  Electric  lights — R.  G.  Weiland.  Hotels — Park  Hotel,  Arlington 
Hotel,  Farmers'  Home,  Boston  House,  L.  O.  Petersen. 

Boarding  house — Charles  Reynolds.  Restaurant  and  bakery — Turner 
Brothers.  Cafe — "The  Booster,"  Ralph  Garnett.  Drug  stores — Alex.  H. 
Roberts,  Frick  Drug  Company.  F.  W.  Smith,  Griffith  &  Company.  Gen- 
eral stores — Evan  Marcjusen,  Chris  Olsen.  Wilson  &  Freeman,  Renftle  & 
Reed,  James  H.  Baker.  Grocers — Hans  Albertsen.  George  W.  Preston. 
Hardware — Audubon  Hardware  Company,  Rinemund  Hardware  Company, 





Oelke  &  Company,  Ruhs  &  Carter.  Clothing — Jensen  &  Weaver,  Fred  A. 
Buthweg.  Furniture — George  W.  Hoo\er,  A.  C.  Harmon.  Variety — L.  E. 
Wray,  W.  H.  Simcox.  Meat  market — J.  F.  McCort.  Boots  and  shoes — 
Matthias  &  Hansen,  Rasmussen  &  Jensen.  Tobacco — Dennis  &  Company. 
Flour  mill — Culver  &  Son.  Laundry — Charles  H.  Stocking.  Machinery 
and  implements — Johnson  &  Buck.  Billiard  parlors — Barentsen  &  Dye,  Jen- 
sen &  Madsen,  Vern  Snellbaker,  Ray  Booton. 

Garages — Pete  Jensen,  John  Markinsen.  Machine  shop — Shrader  & 
Marsh.  Bridge  contractor — Ward  &  Weighton.  Liveryman — Park  Liv- 
ery. Feed  stables — George  Brady,  Nels  Sorensen,  Andrew  Christensen. 
Sale  stable — F.  O.  Miklasen.  Cream  station  and  produce — Charles  Wilde, 
Audubon  Produce  Company.  Standard  Oil  Company — Olaf  Jensen,  mana- 
ger. Cedar  Rapids  Oil  Company — Ren  Phelps,  manager.  Audubon  Can- 
ning Company — R.  J.  Loveland,  manager.  Stock  food — Martin  Mogg,  Jr. 
Live  stock  dealers — Northup  Brothers,  O.  L.  Lane.  Green  Bay  Lumber 
Company — F.  H.  Adams,  manager.  Dixon  Lumber  Company,  W.  J.  Lau- 
bender,  manager.  Grain  dealer — A.  J.  Leak.  Walter  Roth,  manager.  Opdyke 
Grain  Company — D.  C.  Hart,  manager.  Johnson  Grain  Company — Charles 
L.  arid  Alva  Johnson.  Brick  and  tile  works — L.  E.  Tramp  &  Tramp.  Dray- 
men— J.  S.  Dennis,  W.  S.  Roberts  &  Son,  L.  C.  Johnson,  Ralph  Garnett, 
Mike  Ceronek,  Roy  Prather. 


The  town  of  Brayton  was  laid  out  by  John  S.  Jenkins  and  John  T. 
Jenkins  on  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  19,  Exira  township,  December 
16,  1878.  It  was  incorporated  in  1899.  These  have  held  the  office  of 
mayor :  Dr.  William  R.  Kool),  .Frank  G.  Jenkins,  Nis  Larsen,  Lewis  C. 

The  first  school  in  Brayton  was  in  1896.  The  teachers  have  been: 
Francina  Heath,  Anna  Stender,  Lucille  Connrardy,  Maye  Jenkins,  Miss 
Noalty,  Nellie  Boockout.  Ida  Cannon  and  Vivian  Bartlett. 


Population,  two  hundred  and  thirty-five. 

Mayor,  Lewis  C.  Heath ;  marshal,  L.  M.  Parrott ;  clerk,  Lewis  P.  Ras- 
mussen;  justice  of  the  peace,  Thomas  J.  McGovern;  constable,  Calvin  I. 


Postmistress — Vivian  Bartlett ;  railroad  agent — Lloyd  Drew  ;  physi- 
cian— William  R.  Koob;  hotel — David  B.  Beers;  restaurant — C.  P.  Peter- 
sen ;  barbers — William  Clemensen,  Clyde  Freeman,  Jensen ;  garage — 

Anton  Juhl ;  blacksmiths — Ben  Gros,  Nick  Skanning ;  live-stock  dealer — 
Thomas  J.  JNIcGovern;  Princess  Theatre — Chris  Hoegh;  drug  store — Harry 
Miller  &  Co. ;  grain  dealer — Hans  Hansen,  manager ;  public  hall — Jens  P. 
Juhl;  billiard  parlors — Frank  P.  Freeman,  George  Hardwick;  pumps  and 
repairs — ]\Iolgaard  &  Nelson ;  electric  lights — George  ^^^  Hoegh ;  bank — 
Brayton  Savings  Bank.  L.  F.  Miller,  cashier;  produce — Brayton  Produce 
Company,  Ed.  Brown,  manager;  lumber — Brayton  Lumber  Company, 
Lewis  P.  Rasmussen,  manager;  cement — Brayton  Cement  Works — A.  T. 
Rasmussen.  manager;  general  stores — Jacob  Andersen.  Henry  Hansen  & 
Company,  Nis  Larsen  &  Son ;  hardware  and  implements — Nelsen  Brothers ; 
telephones — Nora  Larsen,  Amelia  Andersen ;  drayman — Garner  A.  Bart- 


It  was  situated  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  20,  Exira  town- 
ship, on  the  claim  first  taken  up  by  John  S.  Jenkins  in  185 1.  who  sold  it  to 
Samuel  B.  Hopkins,  and  he  to  Isaac  P.  Hallock.  Sr..  in  1855.  About  the 
same  time  Hallock  sold  it  to  Erasmus  D.  Bradley,  his  son-in-law%  who  came 
from  Illinois,  and  was  the  first  merchant  in  the  county.  He  built  the  first 
store  house  here  in  1855,  which  stood  on  or  near  block  9,  Oakfield.  The 
town  was  laid  out  and  platted  Ijy  Erasmus  D.  Bradley  and  Alva  B.  Brown. 
The  name  was  suggested  by  Flam  W.  Pearl,  who  settled  there,  in  honor  of 
his  former  home,  a  town  in  New  York  named  Oakfield.  Bradley  and  Brown 
soon  moved  away  and  the  Bradley  store  was  succeeded  by  Flam  ^^^  and 
Joshua  A.  Pearl  and  with  them  was  associated  Julius  M.  Hubbard.  They 
w^ere  succeeded  by  Almond  Goodale,  about  1863-4.  His  store  stood  on  the 
corner  next  north  of  the  present  store  of  Ward  Smith.  In  1866,  Goodale 
was  succeeded  by  Norton  &  Jones,  who  built  a  new  store  building  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  street.  They  sold  to  Keith  &  Ransford  about  1867-8, 
and  moved  to  Avoca,  Iowa.  Their  successors  did  a  thriving  business,  which 
they  transferred  to  Hallock,  Jenkins  &  Powers  about  1875.  They  later 
closed  out  to  Earl  Cotton,  who  moved  the  stock  to  Exira. 

About  1874,  William  Essington  and  Thomas  Walker  started  a  hard- 
ware store  at  Oakfield.  They  were  succeeded  by  Rudol])h  Kremmling,  who 
continued  the  business  but  a  short  time.  About  1889.  Dan  Zentmeir  started 
a  small  store  in  the  Hallock  store  building.     He  was  succeeded  about  1892, 


by  Frank  Greer,  who  was  succeeded  by  Thomas  McGuire  about  1893,  he 
by  Sykes  &  Greer  about  1895,  and  they  by  Frank  Greer  in  1896.  The  con- 
cern was  closed  out  by  Isaac  P.  Hallock,  Jr.,  and  the  stock  sold  to  Ward 
Smith  in  1904. 

In  1 89 1  a  firm  was  started  by  a  man  and  wife  and  their  son,  styled 
Three  Smiths,  which  was  succeeded,  in  1908,  by  William  Pardee,  and  he 
by  Ward  Smith  in  19 10. 

In  the  early  days  of  Oakfield,  a  water-power  saw-mill  was  built,  in 
which  Alva  B.  Brown,  Julius  M.  Hubbard,  Elam  W.  Pearl  and  Joshua  A. 
Pearl  were  owners  at  different  periods.  About  1870  Henry  Kincaid  was 
the  proprietor  and  conducted  it  several  years,  when  it  was  torn  down.  Then, 
on  the  same  site,  a  company  erected  a  fine  flouring-mill,  which  was  sold  to 
Isaac  P.  Hallock,  Jr.  George  E.  Cotton  succeeded  him  in  1878  and  con- 
tinued the  business  several  years,  when  it  was  converted  into  a  sorghum 
manufactory.      The  entire  business  has  been  obsolete   many   years. 

Until  the  railroad  came  to  Brayton,  Oakfield  was  the  second  best  town 
in  the  county.  It  was  a  busy  place.  Among  its  citizens  were  some  of  the 
most  progressive,  enterprising  men  of  the  county.  Some  of  the  old  settlers 
were :  John  S.  Jenkins,  Benjamin  F.  Jenkins,  John  T.  Jenkins,  Isaac  H. 
Jenkins,  Samuel  B.  Hopkins,  Alva  B.  Brown,  Isaac  P.  Hallock,  Sr.,  Richard 
S.  Hallock,  Isaac  P.  Hallock,  Jr.,  Erasmus  D.  Bradley,  William  C.  Norton, 
John  C.  Norton,  Charles  H.  Norton,  Julius  M.  Hubbard,  Giles  N.  Jones, 
James  M.  Jones,  Mark  Heath,  Norman  Archer,  Richard  M.  Lewis,  Elam 
W.  Pearl,  Joshua  A.  Pearl,  A.  M.  Graves,  Thomas  Roland,  Alonzo  N. 
Arnold,  Robert  N.  Day,  Thomas  T.  Rogers,  James  Howlett,  Samuel  How- 
lett.  Airs.  Maria  D.  Butler,  Joseph  Porter.  Mrs.  Julia  Delahoyde,"  Peter 
Delahoyde,  Almond  Goodale,  Henry  Kincade,  Orris  C.  Keith,  H.  Ransford, 
Dr.  Tingle,  Harmon  G.  Smith,  George  E.  Cotton,  James  W.  Brown,  Will- 
iam S.  Ordway. 

Oakfield's  first  school  house  must  have  been  built  as  late  as  1858,  prob- 
ably by  Alonzo  N.  Arnold,  on  the  east  side  of  town,  on  the  hill  in  the  edge 
of  the  timber,  about  block  13  or  14.  In  1871-2  a  new  two-story  school 
house  was  built,  which  is  still  doing  duty. 

It  is  impossible  to  ol^tain  an  accurate  list  of  the  teachers  who  have 
taught  school  there,  or  the  order  in  which  they  were  employed.  Some  of 
the  teachers  were :  Miss  Disbrow,  Jane  Beers,  Mar}^  Crane,  Hattie  Beers, 
Mary  Beck,  John  A.  Hallock,  Darthula  Rogers,  Arabella  Macomber  (she 
was  the  famous  Major  Belle  Reynolds  of  Shiloh  fame),  Robert  N.  Day, 
Harmon  G.   Smith,  Julius  AI.   Hill,   E.   S.   Fales,   Mr.   Farrell,   William  H. 


Brinkerhoff,  Claude  N.  Andrews,  Clara  Ordway,  Miss  Derby.  J.  O.  Cotton, 
Ernest  Smith,  Moses  Brinkerhoff,  Air.  Enenbeck,  V.  Roberson,  Mr.  Stiles, 
Mr.  Koob,  Air.  Eversol,  Lettie  Smith,  Air.  Vanderlin,  B.  O.  Spillman,  Miss 
Alaulsby,  Aliss  Anderson,  Francina  Pottle,  Nettie  Bnmer.  Pearl  Jenkins, 
Gladys  Chamberlain,  Edith  Brown,  Alaye  Jenkins,  Nellie  Boockout,  Pluma 
Freeman,  Alary  Curry  and  Vivian  Bartlett. 

About  1874  a  public  hall  was  erected,  which  was  occupied  by  the  Odd 
Fellows  lodge.  It  waf,  moved  to  Brayton  in  1882.  The  coming  of  the  rail- 
road in  1868  carried  most  of  the  business  to  Brayton.  The  only  remaining 
business  house  is  the  store  of  Ward  B.  Smith.  Dr.  Richard  S.  Hallock  was 
the  resident  physician  many  years,  except  when  he  was  in  the  army.  He 
went  to  Salida,  Colorado,  in  1882. 


Gray  was  laid  out  by  George  Gray  in  section  12,  Lincoln  township, 
on  August  10,  1 88 1.  The  Northwestern  railroad  came  into  the  town  from 
Carroll,  by  way  of  Manning,  early  in  1882.  George  Gray  was  for  many 
years  the  most  prominent  business  man  here.  He  built  a  grain  elevator, 
office,  hotel  and  residence.  He  was  not  only  proprietor.  Init  o\\  ned  thous- 
ands of  acres  of  the  1)est  farms  in  the  A'icinity  and  was  the  first  grain  and 
stock  dealer  in  town. 

Among  the  early  business  men  in  1881  were:  Air.  Alotter,  general 
store,  who  sold  to  William  R.  Johnson  the  same  year;  Air.  Reeves,  hard- 
ware, who  sold  to  Stotts  &  Myers  the  same  year;  George  Eby.  liveryman; 
George  Farmer,  meat  market ;  Air.  Smith,  boarding  house ;  Doctor  Warner, 
physician.  Other  settlers  the  same  year  were :  A.  G.  Forsbeck,  Charles 
AIcLaughlin  and  George  McLaughlin. 

In  1882  Stotts  &  Gifford  started  a  general  store;  David  DeGood. 
blacksmith;  L  C.  Whipple,  hotel;  Dr.  Frank  Hinsdale,  physician;  Green 
Bav  Lumljer  Co.,  with  O.  B.  Francisco,  manager,  succeeded  1)y  Air.  Wake- 
field, he  bv  P.  C.  Aloeller  and  he  by  Henry  Alohr;  Charles  Stuart  &  Son, 
grain  and  lum1)er  dealers,  with  W.  H.  Kellogg,  manager,  succeeded  by  W. 
H.  Stowell  in  1883;  Audas  Brothers  and  Railey  Brothers,  merchants  in 
1885;  B.  and  H.  W.  Lel^eck,  general  store;  Lancelot  &  Rees  started  a  gen- 
eral store  in  1886.  Fred  C.  Hepp  started  the  blacksmith  and  hardware 
business  in  1886;  Welty  &  Crow,  hardware,  in  1888. 

Other  old  settlers  were  A.   F.  Aikman,  Frank  P.  Rees,   Seth  Gifford, 


Thomas  J.  Spilker,  Dr.  A.  L.  Brooks,  Samuel  T.  Thompson,  Horace 
Shelley,  Dr.  Lawrence  A.  Beers. 

The  first  postmaster  was  Willis  P.  Stotts,  1882.  Other  postmasters 
have  been :  Mr.  Jones,  Walter  J.  Audas,  William  J.  Lancelot,  Fred  C.  Hepp, 
A.  F.  Greenwalt,  C.  Eugene  Mertz,  Elmer  Audas,  B.  A.  Swart  and  Clar- 
ence Shingledecker. 

In  1888  one  of  the  country  school  houses  was  moved  into  town.  The 
present  independent  district  of  Gray  embraces  the  west  one-half  of  sec- 
tions 6  and  7;  the  northwest  one-quarter  of  section  18,  Cameron  township; 
all  of  section  i  ;  east  one-half  of  sections  2  and  11  ;  all  of  section  12;  north 
one-half  of  section  13,  and  northeast  one-quarter  of  section  14  in  Lincoln 
township.  A  new  school  house  was  erected  in  190 1  at  the  cost  of  two 
thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  The  school  is  graded  and  employs  three 
teachers;  sixty-eight  pupils  are  enrolled  in  191 5.  These  have  been  teach- 
ers: Etta  Barrich.  principal;  Anna  Bovaird,  primary;  Aeta  Crow,  principal; 
Lillian  Ott,  primary;  Nora  O'Leary,  principal;  Miss  DeMotte  and  Alta 
Crow,  primary;  Will  H.  Lancelot,  principal;  Mrs.  J.  A.  Crow  and  ^label 
Swaney,  primary ;  William  Meek,  principal ;  Mabel  Swaney,  primary ;  Will- 
iam Cunningham,  principal ;  Mabel  Swaney,  primary ;  Charles  Ford,  princi- 
pal ;  Emerson  Shelley,  intermediate ;  Mollie  Barger,  primary ;  K.  G.  Lance- 
lot, principal ;  Emerson  Shelley,  Arden  Shelley,  Howard  Kittell,  interme- 
diates ;  Mollie  Barger  and  Ella  Denton,  primaries ;  Belle  Lancelot,  princi- 
pal ;  Grace  Swaney,  intermediate ;  Ella  Denton,  primary. 

These  have  also  been  teachers :  Ella  Forsbeck,  Bessie  Bunker.  Maude 
Carpenter,  Blanche  Shaffer,  May  Delaney,  Anna  O'Leary,  Matilda  Jensen, 
Frank  White,  Will  Hammond,  Lucille  Snyder,  Raba  McVey,  A.  J.  Albin, 
Lillian  Hal  ford,  C.  R.  Wiseman,  Mildred  Bowen,  Bessie  Ross,  Emma 
Wickwire  and  perhaps  others. 

The  town  was  incorporated  in  1897  and  embraced  all  of  section  12, 
Lincoln  township.  The  following  named  gentlemen  have  held  the  office 
of  mayor  of  the  town:  Walter  J.  Audas,  William  J.  Lancelot,  C.  Eugene 
Mertz,  Frank  J.  Rogers,  Fred  C.  Hepp,  Harry  A.  Bates,  A.  G.  McMullen, 
A.  G.  Forsbeck. 


Mayor,  A.  G.  Forsbeck ;  clerk,  Charles  C.  Linn ;  marshall  and  con- 
stable, Frank  J.  Rogers ;  assessor,  Lloward  Rogers ;  postmaster,  Clarence 
Shingledecker;  mail  carrier,  George  Garber;  principal  of  school,  Leo  Bruce. 

Clergyman — J.  A.   Mitchell ;  railroad  agent — Thomas  J.    Spilker ;  bank 

286  AUDUBON    COUNTY,,    IOWA. 

— Farmers  Savings  Bank,  Ed.  C.  Rice,  cashier;  hotel — Mrs.  Garber;  drug 
store — Elmer  Audas;  restaurant — Frank  J.  Rogers;  general  store — James 
A.  Rutherford;  hardware — L.  Groteluschen  Company;  harnessmaker — D. 
C.  Ross;  garage — John  Shaw;  blacksmiths — Fred  C.  Hepp,  Link  O'Con- 
nell ;  liveryman — L.  L.  Farrell;  barber — Guy  E.  Farrell ;  stock-buyer — D.  O. 
Corner;  grain — Opdyke  Grain  Company,  Austin  L.  Linn,  manager;  Trans- 
Miss.  Grain  Company,  D.  J.  Sweeney,  manager;  Green  Bay  Lumber  Co., 
Frank  Murphy  manager ;  carpenter — John  Markley ;  painter  and  paper- 
hanger — B.  A.  Swart;  drayman — Chris.  Jensen. 


The  town  of  Hamlin  Station  was  laid  out  on  the  southeast  quarter  of 
section  lo,  Hamlin  township,  by  J.  Lewis  Drew,  on  November  lo,  1890. 
The  following  named  persons  have  been  among  the  residents  of  the 
town :  Mordicai  Hutton,  Henry  Young,  Samuel  Atkinson,  John  E.  McGuire, 
Charles  Higgins,  Nels  Rattenborg,  J.  P.  M.  Jensen,  Simon  Christensen, 
Peter  Reisgaard,  Hans  P.  Mortensen,  Mrs.  Petersen,  Chris.  Johnson,  Fred 
Heilman,  Philip  Young,  S.  D.  Coonrod,  Hans  J.  Hansen,  Hans  Aagaard, 
Wilhelm  Olesen,  Victor  Nelson,  Jacob  Sandbeck,  Mrs.  ]\Iary  C.  Haahr, 
Soren  Sandbeck,  Hans  Carstensen.  John  McNutt. 

These  have  been  postmasters :  James  Elrod.  William  AIcGuire,  Chris. 
Justensen,   Thomas  Brahn,   Robert   H.   Garnett,   Knut  J.   Petersen. 

Population,  eighty-five. 


Postmaster,  Knut  J.  Petersen;  railroad  agent — T.  O.  McCarthy;  school 
teacher — Grace  Lee;  hotel — Karen  ]\Iortensen;  Farmers  Savings  Bank — 
L.  C.  Christoffersen,  cashier;  garage — Cal  Belcher;  blacksmith,  Rasmus 
Johansen;  general  stores — Hans  J.  Johnson,  C.  P.  Christensen;  hardware — 
Nels  Mortensen;  barber  and  billard  parlor — A\'ill  Krohn;  lumlier  dealer  and 
cement  works — Fred  O.  Anderson,  manager;  creamery — Marinus  Nielsen, 
manager;  grain  and  stock  dealer — Peter  Nelson;  drayman — Gill   Petty. 


The  town  of  Kimballton  was  founded  and  laid  out  by  Hans  J.  Jorgen- 
sen  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  30,  Sharon  township,  in  1883.     The 


first  merchant  was  Louis  Hansen,  in  1883.  The  business  interests  in  1889 
were  represented  by  Marquesen  &  Mehard  and  A.  Bergreen,  general  stores; 
Eveck  &  Gray,  hardware  and  farm  implements;  Carl  Johnson,  blacksmith, 
and  L.  C.  Johnson,  carpenter. 

Hans  J.  Jorgensen  was  the  first  postmaster,  in  1883,  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Hans  Marquesen,  in  1888.  The  Atlantic  Northern  railroad  w-as 
built  from  Atlantic  to  Kimballton  in  1907. 

Kimballton  was  incorporated  on  June  i,  1908.  The  mayors  of  the 
tow^n  have  been  P.  E.  James  and  Thomas  Thompson.  It  is  an  independent 
school  district,  and  its  teachers  are  the  Dallinger  sisters.  Flora,  Bertha  and 
Margaret.  Its  waterworks  system  was  established  in  1912,  and  its  elec- 
tric light  plant  in  19 13. 


Population,  three  hundred  and  fifty. 

Mayor,  Thomas  Thompson;  clerk,  Hans  Madsen;  marshal,  Conrad 
Nelsen;  justice  of  the  peace,  Chris  T.  Christensen;  constable,  Jens  Smith; 
postmaster,  Frank  Thompson. 

Clergyman — Rev.  J.  Jorgensen;  physician — Peter  Soe;  photographer 
— Mads  Knudsen;  bankers — Hans  Madson  and  Math.  Nessager;  news- 
paper— Fred  N.  Harmon;  hotel — Alarie  Rasmussen;  restaurant — Peter' 
Kirk;  drug  store — Jorgensen  &  Thompson;  jeweller — S.  H.  Sovensen; 
musical  instruments — H.  M.  Nordley;  picture  show — A.  J.  Mautz;  real 
estate  agents — George  Nelsen,  Martin  Frederickson,  Hjalmar  Rasmussen; 
tailor — Walter  Madsen  ;  barber — J.  E.  Tvenstrup ;  blacksmith — Jens  West ; 
harness  sho^D — Evald  Trukken  ;  public  library  ;  mason — Nels  B.  Bennedsen  ; 
carpenter — -Hans  P.  Hansen ;  liveryman — Lars  Rasmussen ;  auto  livery — A. 

J.    Winther;   painters   and   paper-hangers — Chris    Hansen,    Randolph, 

Andersen;    general    stores — Faaborg    &    Co.,    Larsen    &    Jorgensen; 

grocer — G.  G.  Muller  &  Co.;  hardware — H.  P.  Bonnesen;  hardware  and 
implements — Hansen  &  Sorensen;  grain  elevator — Andrew  Rattenborg, 
manager;  live  stock  dealer — Chris  O.  Jensen;  Farmers  Shipper's  Union — - 
Paul  Bjorn,  manager;  furniture — Nelsen  &  Andersen;  electric  lights — John 
Nelsen ;  garage — Martin  N.  Esbeck ;  motor  and  auto  supplies — Henbusker 
&  Larsen ;  creamery — Peter  Thuesen,  manager ;  construction  company — 
Thorwald  Jensen;  lumber  dealers- — Olaf  Hansen,  manager;  Hans  Boldt, 
manager ;  Standard  Oil  Co. — Peter  J.  Bertelsen,  manager ;  meat  markets — 
Magnus  Nelsen,  Jens  Nelsen ;  railroad  agents ;  brick  and  tile  works — Ole 



The  town  of  Ross  was  laid  out  in  section  4,  Leroy  township,  and  was 
platted  on  July  28.  1882.  A  postoffice  was  established  there  in  1883.  The 
former  postmasters  were  L.  D.  Thomas  and  John  W'agner.  The  railroad 
depot  was  built  in  1885,  and  the  first  merchants  were  Fox  &  Johnson.  J.  F. 
Luse  had  a  store  there  in  1889.  Charles  Stuart  &  Son  and  George  Gray 
were  formerly  engaged  there  in  the  grain  and  coal  trade.  Other  residents 
have  been  Mr.  Zebol,  Jesse  Neitzel.  Mr.  Keonick,  John  Petersen,  John  Wag- 
ner. John  ^IcKee.  John  Ehlit,  Xels  Olsen  and  George  I^IcEwing. 

The  business  directory  of  the  town  in  1915  is  as  follows:  Postmistress. 
Lena  Mack;  railroad  agent.  Inman  Sherman;  store.  Max  Ehlert ;  black- 
smith, William  Smith;  lumber  dealer.  Fred  Jones;  grain  elevators,  Jesse 
Ferguson  and  Bert  McNutt;  implements,  machinery  and  harness,  William 
Bauers;  drayman,  John  Bonnett.  There  are  Methodist  and  Lutheran 


Dayton  was  platted  on  July  9,  1855.  It  was  the  first  county  seat,  but 
contained  only  two  buildings,  and  the  county  seat  was  changed  to  Exira  in 
1861.  It  was  \acated  man}-,  many  years  ago  and  is  now  embraced  in  a 

Audu1:)on  City  was  platted  and  laid  out  by  Thomas  S.  Lewis  and 
Nathaniel  Hamlin  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  25.  Exira  township, 
on  September  3.  1856.  It  was  a  failure  from  the  start.  It  contained  a 
residence  or  two  and  a  store.  The  first  school  house  was  there,  all  before 
1861.     It  was  all  vacated  many  years  ago  and  is  now  embraced  in  a  farm. 

Louisville  was  laid  out  and  platted  by  Nathaniel  Hamlin  on  the  north- 
west quarter  of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  17,  Exira  township,  on 
October  23,  1866.  It  was  the  site  of  the  Green  &  Burnham  steam-mill  in 
1856.  Howard  J.  Green,  Franklin  Burnham  and  Charles  L.  Chapin  lived 
there  in  1856,  and  others  lived  there  subsequently,  before  1865.  In 
1866  it  was  the  busiest  place  in  the  county,  with  saw  and  flouring-mill,  store, 
blacksmith  shop  and  quite  a  number  of  residences.  It  continued  to  be  a 
busy  place  as  late  as  1874.  During  its  business  career  its  residents,  besides 
those  mentioned,  v.ere :  Levi  Zaner.  Nathaniel  Hamlin.  John  B.  Connrardy, 
Adonijah   J.    Harris.   James    Harris,     Horatio    P.     Smith.     Leman     Carley. 


Francis  J.  Shrauger,  Robert  T.  Smart.  Daniel  W.  Miller,  John  S.  Wright, 
Charles  E.  Hartman,  Kizer,  Robinson  and  others. 

It  is  now  embraced  in  the  farm  of  Julius  E.  Herrick,  Esq.  Audubon 
Lodge  No.  217,  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows,  the  oldest  lodge  in  the 
county,  was  organized  at  Louisville,  October  19,  1871,  and  built  an  Odd 
Fellows  hall.  The  lodge  was  moved  to  Oakfield  in  1874  and  the  hall  was 
torn  down. 

Hamlin  was  laid  out  by  the  Hamlin  Town  Company,  consisting  of 
Nathaniel  Hamlin,  I.  N.  Donnel,  P.  Gad  Bryan,  George  W.  Seevers,  Hugh 
W.  Maxwell  and  H.  Devere  Thompson,  in  sections  i  and  2,  in  Hamlin 
township,  in  1872.  The  plat  was  filed  on  April  29,  1873.  It  was  the  fairest 
townsite  ever  founded  in  Audubon  county.  It  contained  a  hotel,  several 
stores,  a  school  house  and  several  dwellings.  It  was  defeated  for  county 
seat  in  1873,  a  lamentable  event  and  to  the  lasting  injury  of  the  county  that 
it  was  not  selected  for  the  permanent  county  seat.  It  was  vacated  many 
years  ago  and  is  now^  embraced  in  a  farm. 




Between  Exira  and  Harlan  in  the  west  part  of  Audubon  county  and  the 
east  part  of  Shelby  county  is  a  large  settlement  of  Danish  people.  Their 
rise  and  progress  have  been  something  remarkable  and  interesting.  The  first 
of  these  people  settled  in  Shelby  county,  and  came  later  to  Audubon  county. 
As  early  as  1863,  Chris  Johnson,  better  known  to  old  setlers  as  "Big  Chris," 
lived  on  a  homestead  in  Shelby  county,  near  the  northwest  corner  of  Oakfield 
township,  about  two  miles  south  of  the  present  town  of  Elkhorn.  In  the 
early  days  he  was  instrumental  in  settling  several  Danish  people  in  the  west- 
ern part  of  Audubon  county.  These  people  came  direct  from  Denmark  to 
his  place  and  lived  with  him  to  learn  the  language  of  the  country  and  the 
methods  of  agriculture.  He  assisted  them  in  buying  and  improving  their 
lands,  and  in  making  their  initial  start  at  home  making  and  farming,  in 
many  ways. 

The  first  Dane  who  settled  in  the  county  was  Jens  U.  Hansen,  who  came 
in  1869  from  Shelby  county  and  lived  temporarily  in  a  shanty  in  the  north 
part  of  section  5,  Exira  township,  near  John  W.  Dodge.  He  was  a  carpenter 
and  a  very  industrious  man;  worked  with  Mr.  Dodge  and  helped  build  the 
old  big  barn  on  the  Pray  place,  now  owned  by  Martin  P.  Mardensen,  on 
section  27,  Hamlin  township.  He  also  helped  build  the  Congregational 
church  in  Exira,  in  1870;  built  a  house  for  Charles  Van  Gorder,  in  Exira, 
in  1 87 1,  and  built  the  John  D.  Bush  house  in  Exira.  He  improved  a  farm 
in  section  36,  Sharon  township,  in  1870,  upon  which  he  settled  in  1871,  and 
lived  there  many  years.  He  now  resides  in  the  same  vicinity.  During  suc- 
ceeding years  many  Danish  people  setled  in  Audubon  county. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  early  Danish  settlers  in  Audubon  county,  with 
places  and  dates  of  settlement : 


In  Section  2.    Lorenz  P.  Nelsen,  1883. 
In  Section  3.     M.  Ballmus,  1880;  C.  Christensen,  1880. 
In  Section  4.     A.  P.  Hansen,    1878;  Rasmus  Axelsen,   1875;  Andrew 
P.  Hansen,  1878;  Jens  Hansen,  1878;  Chris  Hansen,  1878;  Lars  N.  Esbeck, 


1882;  Christian  N.  Esbeck,  1881 ;  John  Sorensen,  1882;  John  N.  Esbeck, 

In  Section  5.  Nels  J.  Boose,  1881;  Nels  B.  Christensen,  1887;  Andrew 
Sorensen,  1882;  Drace  Sorensen,  1882;  Chris  Jensen,  1881;  Chris  Hansen, 
1878;  Andrew  N.  Esbeck,  1879;  John  Petersen,  1885;  Jacob  Beck,  1885; 
L.  P.  Miller,  1883. 

In  Section  6.  A.  C.  Nelsen,  1880;  Lars  Hansen,  1875;  Nels  J.  Nelson, 
1883;  Tore  Toresen,  1871 ;  Lars  Hansen,  1875;  Paul  Boyeson,  1880;  Aug. 
L.  Boyeson,  1880;  Chris  Petersen,  1878;  Nels  C.  Christensen,  1885;  Charles 
J.  Shack,  1875;  H.  F.  Shack,  1875;  J.  P.  Nielsen,  1886. 

In  Section  7.  Simon  Everson,  1875;  Chris  Qlsen,  1885;  Nels  Bollesen, 
1878;  A.  P.  Poulsen,  1880;  Elias  Jacobsen,  date  unknown. 

In  Section  8.     Peter  Nelson,  1882. 

In  Section  10.  Niels  Hansen,  1883;  Lars  Christensen,  1875;  Nels  J. 
Petersen,  1883. 

In  Section  14.  Jens  U.  Petersen,  1872;  Peter  Hansen,  1873;  John 
Johnsen,  1872. 

In  Section  15.  Hans  Nymand,  1881;  Jesse  Nymand,  1880;  Jacob  P. 
Bendixen,  1881 ;  Carl  F.  Nelsen,  1872. 

In  Section  16.     Knud  Knudsen,  1875. 

In  Section  17.  Jens  P.  Christoffersen,  1872;  B.  H.  Christensen,  1876; 
John  P.  Hoegh,  1881;  S.  P.  Daugard,  1882. 

In  Section  20.     Hans  C.  Hansen,  1882.; 

In  Section  21.  Nels  P.  Hoegh,  1875;  George  Hansen,  1875;  H.  C. 
Nielsen,  1872. 

In  Section  22.  Chris  Christensen,  1883;  Hans  P.  Hansen,  1880;  Ebbe 
J.  Hansen,,  1880;  Peter  Jacobsen,  1877. 

In  Section  2^.     Peter  Albertsen,  1881 ;  H.  P.  Larsen,  1875. 

In  Section  28.     H.  C.  Nielsen,  1873;  William  Erickson,   1880. 

In  Section  33.  N.  P.  Petersen,  1871 ;  Peter  Nielsen,  1871 ;  Niels  Ander- 
sen, 1871. 

In  Section  34.     N.  C.  Nielsen,  1871;  Martin  Nielsen.  1871. 


In  Section  29.    J.  H.  Johnson,  1880. 

In  Section  30.  Chris  Petersen,  1886;  Peter  Wilson,  1885;  Peter  Mad- 
sen,  1880. 

In  Section  31.     Jens  P.  Wilson,  1885;  Nels  Petersen,  1881. 



In  Section  7.'  Peter  F.  Pedersen,  1880;  Andreas  C.  Sorensen,  1881; 
Jens  Rosenbeck,  1886. 

In  Section  14.     Christian  M.  Hansen,  1882;  Charles  Petersen,  1878. 

In  Section  15.  Jasper  Jensen,  1880;  Martin  N.  Esbeck,  1879;  Chris  L. 
Hansen,  1880. 

In  Section  16.  Alartin  Larsen,  1882;  Jens  Marcussen,  1882;  Anders 
Christoffersen,  1882;  Hans  Marcussen,  1882. 

In  Section  17.  Hans  Petersen,  1876;  Xels  Petersen,  1880;  George  L. 
Jorgensen,  1879;  Chris  J.  Christensen,  1881 ;  Henrick  J.  Ipsen,  1880;  Albert 
H.  Jorgensen,  1880;  Peter  Rasmussen,  1880. 

In  Section  18.  Chris  T.  Christensen,  1880;  Chris  L.  Petersen,  1881 ; 
Peter  Nissen,  1885;  Lars  Jensen,  date  unknown;  Xiels  H.  Nielsen,  1878; 
Niels  J.  Meng,  1880;  Chris  Larsen,  1880. 

In  Section  19.  Andreas  Petersen,  1881 ;  Albert  C.  Christensen,  1880; 
Ole  Ericksen,  1877;  Peter  Olsen,  1877. 

In  Section  20.  Peter  N.  Jorgensen,  1874;  Thomas  Smith,  1880;  Hans 
Larsen,  1880;  Nels  Petersen,  1880. 

In  Section  21.  Jens  Larsen,  1880;  Hans  Petersen,  1883;  Peter  H. 
Andersen,  1883. 

In  Section  23.     Willads  Rattenborg,  1883. 

In  Section  27.  Rasmus  Petersen,  1885;  Soren  S.  Faaborg,  1882; 
Simon  Christensen,  1879. 

In  Section  28.  John  Faaborg,  1881  ;  Chris  Montensen,  1879;  Peter  N. 
Esbeck,  1878;  Chris  Mascussen,  1882;  Peter  Johnsen,  date  unknown. 

In  Section  29.  Jens  T.  Larsen,  1874;  Erik  P.  Simonsen,  1878. 

In  Section  30.  Hans  J.  Jorgensen,  1874;  Chris  P.  Madsen,  1874;  Jens 
Christensen,  1878;  Hans  Madsen,  1874:  Mads  Madsen,  1874;  Ole  H.  Jacob- 
sen,  1875;  Ole  H.  Jacobsen,  Jr.,  1875;  Clarence  Jacobsen,  1875;  Chris  Jacob- 
sen,  1875;  Ole  Olson,  1873. 

In  Section  31.  John  Andersen,  1878;  Hans  P.  Christensen,  1877;  Lars 
Mortensen,  1878;  Hans  Rasmussen,  188 1. 

In  Section  32.  Jens  C.  Hansen,  1880;  Niels  Hansen,  1880;  Soren 
Sorensen,  1880;  Svend  Larsen.  1883;  Chris  Christensen,  1881 ;  Lars  Nelsen, 
1881 ;  Jens  Carlsen,  1882;  Jens  C.  Kjar,  1880. 

In  Section  33.  Lars  C.  Jensen,  1883;  Jens  M.  Rasmussen,  1880;  Carl 
Iversen.   1882;  Chris  Iversen,   1882;  Anton  Christensen,   1877. 


In  Section  34.  Chris  Thomson,  1880;  Nels  P.  Jensen,  1882;  WilHam 
Christensen,  1881 ;  Lars  Sorensen,  1883;  Chris  Henclriksen,  1883;  Soren 
Sorensen,  1880. 

In  Section  35.     Peter  Axelsen,  1875. 

In  Section  36.     Jens  Sorensen,  1881 ;  Jens  U.  Hansen,   1871. 


In  Section  35.     Chris  Justesen,  1880. 


These  people  have  greatly  multiplied  and  now  number  many  thou- 
sans.  But  few  of  them  possessed  more  than  the  common  necessities  of  life. 
The  lands  where  they  settled  were  mostly  hilly,  rough,  and  brushy,  and  not 
of  the  best  quality;  but  they  were  well  adapted  as  colonists  in  a  new  country, 
a  strong,  hardy,  healthy  race;  intelligent,  honest,  industrious,  patient  and 
progressive — just  what  were  required  to  subdue  the  wilderness,  and  build 
up  a  prosperous  community. 

The  writer  well  recalls  their  first  coming,  and  sold  land  to  some  of 
them.  Many  at  first  purchased  but  forty  acres — usually  paying  down  about 
$70 — upon  which  they  built  a  board  shanty,  ten  feet  square,  barely  suffi- 
cient to  hold  a  bed,  table  and  a  few  necessary  household  articles.  The  cook- 
ing stove  was  set  up  outside  under  a  board  shed,  next  to  the  living  room. 
Then  they  obtained  a  cheap  team,  wagon  and  plow,  a  cow,  an  old  sow  and 
some  chickens  and  proceeded  to  break  out  th^-  farm.  Sometimes  they  planted 
sod  corn  the  first  year  and  prepared  for  a  crop  the  next  year.  After  about 
this  fashion  they  began  life  in  this  new  country.  Times  were  hard  and  ready 
money  not  to  be  had.  No  banks,  and  farm  loans  not  to  be  obtained  here  at 
that  period.  Farm  products  were  low  in  price,  and  the  markets  many  miles 
distant.  But  they  had  come  to  stay.  By  industry  and  patient  perseverance 
they  worked  and  paid  for  their  homes  and  increased  their  possessions.  Their 
financial  integrity  as  compared  with  that  of  the  average  western  man  was 
remarkable  from  the  start.  There  were  very  few  rogues  among  them.  The 
writer  found  that  when  a  Dane  was  given  credit  for  any  kind  of  purchase 
that  he  usually  met  his  obligations  promptly  to  the  day,  which  was  not  true 
of  many  other  people  in  the  community. 

In  1894  the  writer  had  occasion  to  mention  them  in  the  senate  of  Iowa, 
citing  the  founding  and  progress  of  their  community,  and  contending  that  it 


compared  favorably  with  anything  of  the  kind  of  its  age  in  the  world;  which 
was  true,  and  it  has  since  continually  been  progressing; 


In  1878  Rev.  Olav  Kirkeberg,  pastor  of  the  Lutheran  church  at  Elkhorn, 
founded  Elkhorn  College,  built  by  subscription;  the  Danish  people  in  the 
vicinity  contributing  liberally  for  the  purpose.  It  was  out  in  the  wilderness, 
but  the  Danish  farmers  turned  out  with  their  teams  and  hauled  the  material 
for  the  erection  of  the  building  from  the  railroad,  and  the  coal  with  which 
to  heat  it  when  completed.  There  was  a  college  mess-hall  for  the  students, 
the  food  for  which,  meat,  flour,  milk,  vegetables,  etc.,  was  supplied  by  the 
neighboring  people.  They  sent  their  boys  and  girls  to  this  school.  The 
students  printed  and  published  a  college  journal — Danncvirkc — proclaiming 
that  Elkhorn  College  was  the  only  Danish  college  in  America.  Students 
attended  from  all  over  Iowa,  Illinois,  Wisconsin,  ^linnesota,  Dakota, 
Nebraska  and  other  states,  and  some  even  from  Denmark. 

It  was  a  common  occurrence  at  that  time  to  observe  the  old,  heavy, 
wooden  chests  and  trunks  of  the  Scandinavian  emigrants  marked:  "Elk- 
horn. Iowa.  U.  S.  A."'  The  college  was  burned  down  twice,  but  a  better 
building  was  erected  on  the  original  site  in  19 10. 


In  1888  the  town  of  Kimballton — named  for  an  official  of  the  railroad 
company — was  founded  in  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  30,  Sharon  town- 
ship, and  another  town,  Elkhofn.  is  situated  two  and  one-half  miles  south, 
in  Shelby  county.  These  towns,  situated  well  back  in  the  hills,  are  strictly 
up-to-date,  with  commodious  dwellings,  business  houses  and  modern  im- 
provements, new  and  tidy.  A  spirit  of  rivalry  exists  between  the  two  little 
cities,  while  the  people  are  mostly  Danish. 

After  living  in  the  country  for  more  than  thirty  years  without  a  rail- 
road the  citizens  rallied  and  built  one  themselves,  from  Kimballton  to  Atlan- 
tic. Sharon  township  voted  a  railroad  tax  of  five  mills  on  the  dollar,  and 
another  township  in  Shelby  county  voted  a  like  tax.  for  building  the  road,  and 
private  citizens  along  the  line  subscribed  for  the  railroad  stock  for  the  same 
purpose.     In  such  way  the  railroad  was  accomplished. 

These  Danish  people  have  become  an  important  factor  in  the  affairs  of 
Audubon   county.      They  are   largely  devoted   to   agricultural   pursuits,    for 


which  they  are  pecuharly  well  qualified.  As  farmers  they  are  not  excelled. 
Starting  as  poor  men,  they  now  own  hundreds  of  magnificent  farms,  under 
a  high  state  of  cultivation,  with  handsome  dwelling  and  home  lots,  fine  barns 
and  farm  buildings  for  sheltering  stock  and  housing  grain  and  hay;  fields 
and  pastures  thoroughly  fenced  and  stocked  with  the  best  breeds  of  horses, 
cattle,  hogs,  poultry,  etc.  The  tidy,  thrifty  appearance  of  their  farms  attest 
the  industry  and  prosperity  of  the  owners. 

As  business  men  they  rank  favorably  with  the  same  classes  of  people 
elsewhere.  In  the  learned  professions  we  find  among  them  lawyers,  doctors, 
clergymen,  and  school  teachers.  They  have  represented  the  county  in  the 
Legislature,  and  in  the  county  and  local  offices.  Others  are  bankers,  mer- 
chants, agents  and  representatives  of  nearly  all  lines  of  trades  and  special 


The  Danish  people  in  this  county  aspire  to  become  thoroughly  American- 
ized, to  assume  the  best  types  of  American  manhood  and  womanhood,  and  to 
conform  themselves  to  American  laws  and  customs.  Nearly  all  of  the  male 
portion  of  them  as  early  as  convenient  become  naturalized  citizens  and  readily 
assume  their  duties  as  such.  They  are  patrons  of  schools  and  education.  It 
is  a  rare  thing  to  discover  one  of  these  people  who  cannot  read  and  write. 
In  politics  they  are  remarkably  independent  about  local  affairs,  generally 
favoring  their  own  race  of  people.  In  this  particular  they  are  inclined 
to  be  clannish.  Religously  many  are  Lutheran,  the  church  of  their  nativity. 
Quite  a  number  are  Adventists,  and  some  are  members  of  other  denominations. 

Honest  "Pete"  Christiansen  once  in  discussing  the  Danish  social  proposi- 
tion said  that  the  Danish  boys  should  marry  American  girls,  and  vice  versa. 
He  put  the  theory  into  actual  practice,  with  success  as  it  appeared. 

To  sum  up  in  a  nutshell — there  are  no  better  or  more  worthy  people  in 
the  county  than  the  Danes;  and  there  are  many  other  people  here  who  are 
equally  worthy. 




Names.  Established. 

Audubon May  12,   1871 

Brayton    February    27,    1880 

Exira    June   27,    1856 

Gray   January   30,    1882 

Hamlin June   24,    1873 

Kimballton January    16,    1882 

Ross August   23,    1883 


Names.  Established.  Discontinued. 

Audubon  Center December  13,   1877       September  30,  1867 

Audubon  Heights June  13,  1877 

(name  changed  to 

Conkling)    February  28.  1881 

Civil  Point January  8.  1879  July  26,  1880 

Conkling    ^ June  14,  1894 

Exline    (site  changed  to 

Appanoose   county)    January  14,  1878 

Fiscus   (site  changed  to 

Shelby  county)    September  8,   1898        March  15,  1908 

Grove  (late  Hamlin  Grove) August  30,  1888 

Hamlin  Grove  (name 

changed  to  Grove) October  i,  1853  June  24,  1873 

Horace March  19.  1878  September  26,  1894 

Irwin    June  6,  1871  March  26,  1879 

Jobes  (site  changed  to 

Guthrie  county)    January  2.  1877  January  17,  1903 

Louisville I^^bruary  6,  1872  January  21,  1880 

Larland \]:iril  30.   1890  May  15.  1902 


Leroyville    May  i6,  1871  November  8,  1878 

Melville    February  19,  1878  October  24,  1891 

Oakfield October  22,  1858  November  29,  1881 

Orleans  (site  changed  to 

Appanoose   county)    ^lay  4,  i860 

Poplar    March  30.   1892  March  15,  1908 

Price February  9,  1886  August  17,  1889 

Thompson    October  7,  1872  February  24.  1880 

Viola  Center March  6,  1878  March  21,  1903 


Dwelling    houses    49 

Families     . 50 

Males   150 

Females   133 

Married 93 

Widowed 5 

Voters    69 

Aliens    2 

Militia    60 

Land  owners 51 

Acres.  Bushels. 

Improved  land 701  

Spring  wheat 115  i)97i 

Oats    28  1,405 

Corn    334  10,720 

Potatoes    12  1,927 

Number.  V^alue. 

Hogs    sold    223  1,916 

Cattle  sold 132  4,3/6 

Manufacturers    1-335 

Butter,   pounds   3,656  

Wool,  pounds 375  

1875       18^0  1885  1890  1895  1900  1905 

acres  acres  acres  acres  acres  acres  acres 

Improved  land  --21,046  94.723  165,672  248.276  244,169  272,197  264,749 

Unimproved  land  257,368  36,587  44,406  19,530  18,698  10,259  19,842 



Farmers 32 

Laborers    12 

Blacksmith . i 

■Carpenters . . 5 

Machinists ^^_ . 3 


1856,  283;  1859,  365;  i860,  453;  1863,  388;  1865,  510;  1867,  790; 

1869,  1.032;  1870,  1,212;  1873,  1,873;  1875,  2.370;  1880,  7,448;  1885, 

10,825;  1890,  I2;4i2;  1895,  12,836;  1900,  13,625;  1905,  12,937;  1910, 



i860   1870   1880   1885   1890   1895   1900  1905  I9IO 

Audubon 792   1.152   1,310  1,585   1,866  1,764  1,928 

Brayton 38    124    141  196  137 

Exira 83       160      604      552      575      748      851  828  787 

Gray 172       180  191  148 

Oakfield 88    

Kimballton :  271 


1890        1900        1905  I9IO 

Audubon    953        953  917  825 

Cameron    756        708  619  550 

Douglas   783        848  870  848 

Exira,  except  Brayton  and  Exira  town 1,040     1,034  909  836 

Greeley 779        766  714  651 

Hamlin     . 806        962  961  918 

Leroy,  except  Audubon  town 858        795  753  820 

Lincoln,  except  Gray  town 907  827  713 

Melville    729        618  565  590 

Oakfield 1,004     1,065  95i  99^ 

Sharon 972     1,233     1,223  1,210 

Viola    . 709        699  648  6^7 



1856,  150;  1859,  198;  1869,  239;  1863,  194;  1865,  240. 


1856,  69;  1859,  93;  1863,  88;  1865,  no;  1867,  "^71;   1869,  248;  1873, 
430;  1875.  527;  1885,  2,514;  1895,  3.091;  1900,  \   1905,  3,415. 


1856  1895 



Belgium 2 

Canada    i  74 

Denmark 1.252 

England 10  134 

France 7 

Germany i  953 

Holland 3 

Ireland .111 

Norway 18 


Scotland i  27 

Sweden 44 


United  States  __    10,104 

Wales    7 

Other  European 

countries    39 

Asia I 

Unknown     30  60 

Alabama    2 

Arkansas 2 

California 4 

Colorado    5 

Connecticut 4  10 

Delaware i 












1856  1895  1905 

Georgia    5  ___ 

Illinois 12  937  688 

Indiana    10  279  177 

Indian  Ter. 2  ___ 

Iowa    48  6,989  8,103 

Kansas 2  59  62 

Kentucky     17  58  34 

Maine    i  21  12 

Maryland 2  16  5 

Massachusetts 16  20  12 

Michigan 8  28  49 

Minnesota 18 

Mississippi 2       

Missouri    76  80 

Montana    12      

Nebraska 84  132 

New   Hampshire  5  15  11 

New  Jersey 2'j  24 

New  York 34  244  149 

North  Carolina  _    21  6 

North  Dakota  __    14  — 

Ohio 47  506  309 

Oregon i       

Pennsylvania 7  309  219 

Rhode   Island 4      

South  Carolina  _    i       

South  Dakota  __    11  22 





Virginia  _ 

1856  1895  1905 

2  II  II 


4  37  26 

17  46  25 


West  Virginia 

1856    1895  1905 


18  '     12 

4      129  124 


Adair 18 

Adams 12 

Alamakee 3 

Appanoose    8 

Audubon    4,245 

Benton 40 

Black  Hawk    9 

Boone    15 

Bremer    2 

Buchanan    3 

Beuna  Vista 2 

Butler    3 

Carroll 126 

Cass 256 

Cedar 52 

Cherokee i 

Chickasaw i 

Clarke    9 

Clay '. I 

Clayton    34 

Clinton     59 

Crawford    49 

Dallas    37 

Davis 5 

Decatur    13 

Delaware 3 

Des  Moines 31 

Dickinson    i 

Dubuque    36 

Emmet i 

Fayette    19 




Henry    _ 












Jackson    46 

Jasper    89 

Jefferson    16 

Johnson 217 

Jones    25 

Keokuk    35 

Lee     9 

Linn     17 

Louisa    8 

Lucas 2 

Lyon    I 

Madison    38 

Mahasha    47 

Marion     56 

Marshall    43 

Mills II 

Mitchell I 

Monona 3 

Monroe    5 

Montgomery 19 



Muscatine    53 

O'Brien    3 

Osceola    i 

Page 5 

Palo  Alto    4 

Plymouth     3 

Pocahontas    i 

Polk 87 

Pottawattomie    78 

Poweshiek    ill 

Ringgold   5 

Sac 5 

Scott    102 

Shelby    205 

Sioux     7 

Story    23 

Tama 21 

Taylor 18 

Union 2 

Van  Buren 4 

Wapello 21 

Warren 28 

Washington     27 

Webster i 

Winneshiek    4 

Woodbury 4 

Others   54 


Agents 8 

Insurance     5 

Land    4 

Railroad    6 

Auctioneers i 

Bakers   i 

Bankers 6 

Barbers    13 

Beekeepers     •    i 

Bihiard  men 9 

Blacksmiths 28 

Bookkeepers    7 

Brickmakers    4 

Brokers    2 

Butchers    15 

Carpenters     1 60 

Civil  officers 5 

Clergymen 19 

Clerks    : 46 

Contractors i 

Cooks I 

Creamery     i 

Dairymen    6 

Dentists 4 

Doctors    13 

Domestics    41 

Draymen   12 

Dressmakers    24 

Druggists    8 

Editors    i 

Engineers,  stationary 4 

Farmers 2,072 

Farmers,  retired . 13 

Gardeners    9 

Graindealers    7 

Harnessmakers 20 

Hotel   and   rest,   keepers 9 

Housekeepers    26 

Jewelers 5 

Laborers    4-5 

Laborers,  farm 74 

Lawyers    15 

Liverymen 7 

Machinists 3 



Mail  carriers  _ 
Marble  cutters 



Merchants   73 











Railway  employes 









Stock  dealers    





Tanners 3 

Teachers    126 


Telegraph  operators 


Traveling  salesmen 


Wagon  makers 






\\'ell  diggers 



Corn    91,969 

Wheat 1 1. 714 

Oats 31.575 

Barley     7.256 

Rye   125 

Buckwheat    2 

Clover 4.421 

Timothy 25.554 

Millet   and   Hungarian 363 

Alfalfa I 

Wild  hay   4.287 

Clover   seed    826 

Timothy  seed    I.79I 




































Sweet   potatoes 

Sweet  corn 











CENSUS  1905. 

Cattle   47,850 

Horses  and  mules 11,485 

Swine 63,439 

Sheep   1,538 

Wool,  pounds 4,118 

Chickens     184,439 

Other    fowls    7,748 

Eggs,  dozens 623,758 

Dairy  products 


Value $946,829 

Value 686,798 

Value 392,782 

Value .  9.304 

Value 822 

Value 53,587 

Value 5.540 

Value 79'377 

Value 276,971 

Value 11,652 

County  revenue  for  year  ending  December  31,  1904 $162,598.01 

County  expenses,  same  period 155,710.48 

Militia,    1905,  2,540. 



We  of  a  later  generation  who  are  enjoying  the  comforts  and  even  the 
luxuries  of  this  modern-day  civilization  owe  much  to  the  earlier  pioneers; 
in  fact,  it  is  difficult  to  place  a  proper  estimate  upon  their  services  for  the 
benefit  of  the  generations  who  follow  after  them.  They  blazed  the  trails 
and  bore  the  brunt  of  the  first  hard  and  difficult  battle  in  the  redemption  of 
a  wilderness.  Their  foresight  and  optimism  enabled  them  to  see  into  the 
distant  future  and  vision  the  productive  and  fertile  farms,  the  beautiful 
towns  and  cities,  the  grid-ironing  the  country  with  the  steam  railroads ; 
all  of  which  were  to  transform  the  wide  stretches  of  prairie  lands  and  the 
rolling  hills  into  a  veritable  storehouse  of  wealth  which  would  afford  sus- 
tenance for  innumerable  thousands.  It  was  the  pioneer  who  transported 
his  family  and  meager  possessions  by  horse-wagon  or  slow-moving  ox-team 
from  the  haunts  of  civilization  across  the  lonely  stretches  to  the  far-distant 
uninhabited  country  and  there  erected  his  cabin  on  the  spot  of  his  choice. 
He  came,  he  saw,  he  conquered,  despite  the  vicissitudes  and  hardships  which 
of  necessity  were  the  lot  of  him  and  his  family.  He  likewise  reaped  his 
reward  in  the  inevitable  prosperity  which  followed  in  the  wake  of  the  settle- 
ment of  the  new  country.  This  was  no  more  than  his  just  desert.  A  high 
type  of  the  pioneer  is  found  in  the  person  of  the  man  whose  name  heads 
this  review,  Capt.  Charles  Van  Gorder,  one  of  the  pioneer  settlers  and 
bankers  of  Audubon  county,  who  has  resided  in  this  county  for  fifty- 
four  years. 

During  his  long  residence  in  Audubon  county  Captain  Van  Gorder  has 
seen  the  land  transformed  from  grass  and  flower-covered  prairie  and  hill 
lands  into  a  smiling  landscape  of  fertile  farms  and  thriving  towns.  He  has 
seen  the  trail  succeeded  by  the  old  stagecoach;  in  turn  he  has  seen  the 
stagecoach  supplanted  by  the  steam  railway  and  the  automobile  coming  as 
a  more  modern  means  of  conveyance,  and  very  properly  is  one  of  the  most 
highly  honored  and  respected  citizens  in  the  county. 



Charles  Van  Gorder,  vice-president  of  the  First  National  Bank  of 
Audubon,  this  county,  was  born  in  Delaware  county,  New  York,  on  Jan- 
uary 23,  1837,  the  direct  descendant  of  an  old  Holland  family  which  figured 
in  the  colonial  life  of  the  Empire  state.  He  is  the  son  of  Simon  Van 
Gorder,  whose  grandgather,  John  Van  Gorder,  was  born  in  the  Dutch  settle- 
ment of  Delaware  county.  New  York,  in  the  ancestral  home  of  the  family. 
John  Van  Gorder  was  the  father  of  William,  John,  Abram,  Isaac,  Law- 
rence, Albert  and  Manuel  Van  Gorder.  Lawrence  Van  Gorder,  the  father 
of  Simon  Van  Gorder,  resided  in  Orange  and  Ulster  counties  of  New  York. 
His  other  sons  were  Hiram,  Charles,  John,  Lawrence  and  Calvin,  all  of 
whom  lived  to  be  over  ninety  years  of  age.  Four  of  the  sons  of  John  Van 
Gorder  settled  in  the  Lake  county  of  New  York  state. 

Simon  Van  Gorder,  upon  attaining  his  majority,  moved  to  Delaware 
county.  New  York,  and  thence,  in  1843,  to  Bradford  county,  Pennsylvania, 
where  he  died  in  October,  1890.  His  wife  was  Jane  Fish,  a  native  of  New 
York,  daughter  of  Isaac  Fish,  a  native  of  Connecticut,  who  settled  in  Dela- 
ware county.  New  York,  early  in  the  nineteenth  century.  To  Simon  and 
Jane  (Fish)  Van  Gorder  were  born  the  following  children:  Maria 
Antoinette,  deceased;  Mrs.  Lorane  Hodge,  deceased;  Billings,  of  Chemung 
county.  New  York;  Charles,  of  whom  this  chronicle  treats;  John,  deceased; 
R.  B.,  a  resident  of  Chemung  county.  New  York;  Mrs.  Sarah  J.  Kirkpat- 
rick,  residing  in  Bradford  county,  Pennsylvania,  and  H.  Wallace,  a  citizen 
of  Chemung  county.  New  York. 

Charles  Van  Gorder  was  reared  on  a  wilderness  farm,  he  having  been 
but  six  years  of  age  when  his  father  removed  to  the  wilds  of  Bradford 
county,  Pennsylvania,  and  entered  on  the  task  of  carving  a  farm  from  the 
dense  forests.  There  were  no  school  facilities  in  this  primitive  country  and 
Charles  did  not  attend  school  until  he  had  attained  the  age  of  seventeen 
years.  This  schooling  was  very  limited,  however,  and  he  did  not  succeed 
in  securing  the  education  which  his  ambition  craved.  It  is  a  fact  that  he 
did  not  finish  his  education  until  after  he  came  to  the  West,  and  he  attended 
school  for  two  years  after  he  had  attained  the  age  of  thirty  years.  When 
he  was  nineteen  years  of  age.  Charles  Van  Gorder  left  home  with  the  par- 
ental blessing  and  little  else  to  fortify  himself  with,  and  migrated  to  Henry 
county,  Illinois.  In  the  spring  of  1857  he  made  the  long  overland  journey 
to  Kansas.  Kansas,  at  this  period  of  her  history,  was  earning  the  sobriquet 
of  "bleeding  Kansas"  and  was  the  fighting  ground  of  Abolitionist  and  slave- 
holding  advocate.  The  young  adventurer  saw  troublous  times  during  his 
stay  in  that  territory,  and  after  traveling  over  the  western  country  for  some 


time  he  settled  in  Bates  county,  Missouri.  He  resided  in  Missouri  for  three 
years,  or  until  i860,  in  which  year  he  came  to  Iowa,  choosing  Audubon 
county  as  his  place  of  residence,  and  settled  in  the  town  of  Exira.  During 
his  long  residence  in  Audubon  county,  Mr.  Van  Gorder  has  made  three 
trips  across  the  plains  to  Pike's  Peak  and  return. 

In  1 86 1  Charles  Van  Gorder  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  bricks 
in  Exira  and  was  doing  a  thriving  business  in  the  sale  and  manufacture 
of  his  product  to  the  incoming  settlers  and  homesteaders,  when  the  Presi- 
dent called  for  troops  with  which  to  quell  the  rebellion  in  the  Southern 
states.  Mr.  Van  Gorder,  in  whose  veins  flowed  the  blood  of  a  long  line 
of  sturdy  American  ancestors  and  lovers  of  the  Union,  was  one  of  the 
brave  sons  of  Iowa  to  respond  in  1862.  He  enlisted  on  August  22,  1862, 
in  Company  B,  Thirty-ninth  Regiment,  Iowa  Volunteer  Infantry,  and  served 
for  two  years  and  ten  months.  His  field  service  was  with  his  regiment  in 
Tennessee,  Mississippi,  Alabama  and  Georgia.  The  principal  engagements 
in  which  he  fought  were  at  Parker's  Cross  Roads,  Tennessee;  Cherokee 
Station,  Alabama;  Resaca,  Georgia,  and  Altona  Pass.  During  the  latter 
engagement  he  was  wounded  in  the  left  foot  and  invalided  for  six  months. 
Entering  the  service  as  a  private,  he  presently  was  promoted  to  the  posi- 
tion of  a  corporal  and  rapidly  rose  to  be  a  sergeant,  then  a  lieutenant 
and  finally  a  captain,  which  was  his  rank  when  he  was  mustered  out  with 
Sherman's  army  at  Washington,  D.  C,  following  the  grand  review.  Cap- 
tain Van  Gorder  was  paid  off  and  received  his  final  discharge  at  Clinton, 

After  the  war  Captain  Van  Gorder  resumed  the  manufacture  of  bricks 
in  Exira,  varying  the  time  with  a  trip  across  the  plains  to  Pike's  Peak  in 
1867.  He  also  for  a  time  clerked  in  a  general  store  in  Exira.  In  the  year 
1869  he  was  elected  to  the  office  of  county  treasurer  and  served  for  two 
terms  of  two  years  each.  From  1874  to  1876  he  was  engaged  in  the  real 
estate  business.  In  the  year  1876  his  banking  career  began  and  he  started 
the  Audubon  County  Bank  at  Exira.  In  1878,  when  Audubon  was  laid 
out  and  building  had  commenced  in  the  new  county-seat  town,  he  decided 
that  it  would  prove  to  be  a  better  location  for  his  banking  business.  Con- 
sequently the  business  was  moved  to  the  new  city.  Captain  Van  Gorder 
erected  a  building  in  Audubon  and  conducted  a  private  bank  until  1893, 
when  the  First  National  Bank  succeeded  the  Audubon  County  Bank.  Cap- 
tain Van  Gorder  also  is  interested  in  the  Exchange  Bank  at  Exira,  and  for 
some  time  he  has  occupied  the  post  of  vice-president  of  the  institution  of 
which  he  is  the  founder.  He  has  large  land  holdings  in  Iowa,  the  Dakotas, 
Canada  and  Texas. 


On  November  28,  1869,  Charles  Van  Gorder  was  married  to  Laura 
J.  Delahoyde,  daughter  of  an  early  settler  in  Audubon  county,  and  to  this 
union  have  been  born  four  children,  three  of  whom  are  yet  living,  namely: 
Edwin  S.,  president  of  the  First  National  Bank  of  Audubon,  this  county; 
Sydney  S.,  also  of  Audubon,  and  Lowene  J.  Kirk,  the  wife  of  Willing  D. 
Kirk,  of  the  great  soap  manufacturing  company  of  the  same  name,  and  a 
resident  of  Glencoe,  near  Chicago.  Robert  Bruce  Van  Gorder,  the  deceased 
son,  died  in  Audubon  in  1907. 

Politically,  Capt,  Charles  Van  Gorder,  estimable  gentleman  and  pioneer 
settler,  has  always  been  allied  with  the  Republican  party,  and  takes  a  keen 
interest  in  political  affairs,  though  never  having  been  a  seeker  after  public 
office,  except  on  the  occasion  of  his  election  to  the  office  of  county  treasurer. 
He  is  a  member  of  the  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  in  which 
order  he  has  attained  to  the  chapter  and  the  commandery,  and  takes  a  just 
pride  in  his  membership  in  Allison  Post,  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic,  of 

All  honor  is  due  this  citizen  who  assisted  in  settling  up  the  county  in 
the  pioneer  days  and  was  one  of  the  few  men  to  enlist  in  the  service  of 
the  Union  during  the  days  of  the  civil  conflict.  This  volume  would  cer- 
tainly be  incomplete  were  not  the  foregoing  tribute  and  review  inserted  in 
its  pages.  The  biographies  of  such  men  as  Charles  Van  Gorder,  pioneer 
settler  and  banker,  Union  veteran  and  public-spirited  citizen,  but  enhance 
the  value  of  a  work  of  this  character  and  serve  and  as  inspiration  to  encour- 
age the  young  men  of  the  present  and  coming  generations. 


The  record  of  the  gentleman  whose  name  introduces  this  article  is 
replete  with  well-defined  purposes  which,  carried  to  successful  issue,  in  con- 
nection with  the  development  of  inherited  talents,  have  won  for  him  an 
influential  place  in  the  ranks  of  his  profession  and  high  personal  standing 
among  his  fellow  citizens.  His  life  work  has  been  one  of  unceasing  industry 
and  perseverance,  and  the  systematic  and  honorable  methods  which  he  has 
ever  followed  have  resulted,  not  only  in  gaining  the  confidence  of  those  with 
whom  he  has  had  dealings,  but  also  in  the  building  up  of  a  remunerative 
legal  practice.  Well  grounded  in  the  principles  of  jurisprudence,  and,  by 
instinct  and  habit,  a  constant  reader  and  student,  Mr.  Mantz  commands  the 


respect  of  his  professional  colleagues,  while  his  career  as  an  attorney  and 
public  official  has  reflected  honor  upon  himself  and  dignity  upon  the  vocation 
to  which  he  has  devoted  his  efforts. 

Halleck  J.  Mantz,  attorney  and  mayor  of  Audubon,  this  county,  was 
born  on  September  23,  1877,  in  Iowa  county,  Iowa,  the  son  of  Samuel  L.  and 
Harriett  (Eddy)  Mantz,  natives  of  Pennsylvania  and  Ohio,  respectively.  Sam- 
uel L.  Mantz  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1848,  the  son  of  Jonas  Mantz,  who 
is  still  living  at  the  great  age  of  ninety-four  years,  he  having  been  born  in 
1821.  The  Mantz  family  is  of  colonial  descent,  a  very  old  American  family, 
the  grandfather  of  Jonas  Mantz  having  fought  in  the  American  War  of  Inde- 
pendence, a  soldier  under  General  Washington.  His  great-grandfather  was 
a  soldier  in  the  French  and  Indian  War. 

Jonas  Mantz  and  family  migrated  from  the  ancestral  home  in  Pennsyl- 
vania to  Iowa  in  the  early  fifties  of  the  last  century.  Jonas  and  a  partner 
tramped  afoot  across  the  state,  from  Rock  Island  to  Kanesville,  or  Council 
Bluffs.  After  viewing  the  country  around  about  he  decided  to  settle  in 
Keokuk  county  and  removed  his  family  to  Iowa  in  1859.  For  a  great  many 
years  Jonas  Mantz  has  been  engaged  in  the  live-stock  business  and  his 
activities  have  ranged  over  the  entire  country.  He  specializes  in  fine-bred 
stallions  and  has  been  thus  engaged  since  the  late  fifties. 

Samuel  Mantz  made  his  home  in  Iowa  county  until  1881,  in  which  year 
he  came  to  Audubon  county  and  bought  a  farm  in  Leroy  township,  on  which 
he  lived  until  1902.  He  was  the  owner  of  a  half  section  of  land,  which  he 
sold  upon  his  retirement  in  1902  and  moved  to  Audubon.  To  Samuel  Mantz 
and  wife  were  born  eight  children,  namely :  Everett,  a  farmer  of  Hobart, 
Oklahoma ;  Frank,  a  publisher  at  Manning,  Iowa ;  Halleck  J. ;  William  a 
farmer  of  Belle  Plaine,  Canada ;  Clara,  who  married  Frank  Taylor,  a  farmer 
located  near  Guthrie  Center;  Theodore,  a  practicing  attorney,  located  at 
Des  Moines,  Iowa;  Mrs.  Sadie  Schmidt,  of  Leroy  township,  this  county, 
and  Albert,  a  railroad  telegraph  operator  at  Kimballton,  Iowa. 

Halleck  J.  Mantz  was  reared  on  a  farm  and  received  his  primary  educa- 
tion in  the  district  school,  following  which  he  completed  the  course  in  the 
Audubon  high  school.  He  then  taught  school  for  three  years  and  in  1901 
entered  the  law  school  of  Drake  University,  graduating  from  this  excellent 
institution  in  the  spring  of  1904,  receiving  the  degree  of  Bachelor  of  Laws. 
After  his  admission  to  the  bar,  Mr.  Mantz  began  the  practice  of  law  in  Audu- 
bon and  has  achieved  a  gratifying  success. 

In  August,  19 10,  Halleck  J.  Mantz  was  married  to  Dorothy  Sandberg, 
which  union  has  been  without  issue.     Mr.  Mantz  is  a  Republican  in  politics 


and  is  prominent  in  the  councils  of  his  party.  He  was  elected  to  the  office 
of  county  attorney  in  1907,  and  after  serving  for  a  term  of  two  years  he  was 
re-elected  in  1909,  serving  from  January,  1908  to  January,  1912,  inclusive. 
His  faithful  discharge  of  the  duties  involved  in  this  official  position  was  such 
as  to  commend  him  favorably  to  the  people  of  the  county.  He  was  appointed 
mayor  of  Audubon  in  July,  1913,  and  was  elected  to  the  office  in  the  spring 
of  19 14.  Mayor  Mantz  is  an  aggressive  and  energetic  public  official,  who  is 
strongly  in  favor  of  municipal  improvements,  and  is  a  constant  and  con- 
sistent "booster"  and  advocate  for  a  greater  and  better  Audubon.  He  is  a 
member  of  the  Presbyterian  church  and  is  fraternally  connected  with  the 
Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  having  attained  to  the  chapter  in  that 
order,  and  is  a  member  of  the  Eastern  Star  lodge.  He  is  also  a  member  of 
the  Modern  Woodmen  and  the  Ancient  Order  of  United  Workmen. 


In  nearly  every  community  are  individuals  who,  by  innate  ability  and 
sheer  force  of  character,  rise  above  their  fellows  and  win  for  themselves 
public  honors  and  preferment,  occupying  conspicuous  places  in  the  public 
esteem.  Such  a  one  is  the  well-known  gentleman  whose  name,  appears 
above,  who  has  been  prominently  identified  with  the  history  of  Audubon 
county  for  a  number  of  years,  during  which  period  his  life  has  been  closely 
interwoven  with  the  growth  and  development  of  the  county.  He  has  been 
active  in  business  affairs,  as  well  as  having  taken  a  prominent  part  in  the 
official  administration  of  the  county  government,  and  his  career  as  a  pro- 
gressive and  enterprising  citizen  has  been  synonymous  with  all  that  is  honor- 
able and  upright  in  citizenship. 

Otto  Witthauer,  former  county  auditor  of  Audubon  county  and  present 
representative  from  this  county  in  the  Iowa  General  Assembly,  was  born  in 
Woodward,  Center  county,  Pennsylvania,  on  October  11,  1857,  ^he  son  of 
Herman  and  Louisa  (Flahl)  Witthauer,  both  of  whom  were  natives  of  Ger- 
many, where  they  were  married,  emigrating  to  America  in  May,  1854.  They 
resided  in  Pennsylvania  until  April  5,  1865,  at  which  time  they  set  out  for 
the  long  trip  to  the  newer  and  cheaper  lands  of  western  Iowa.  The  family 
located  on  a  farm  of  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  near  Guthrie  Center,  Guthrie 
county,  and  resided  thereon  until  1884,  in  which  year  Herman  Witthauer 
purchased  the  adjoining  farm,  where  he  spent  the  rest  of  his  life,  his  death 


occurring  in  1905.  Mrs.  Witthauer  died  in  1901.  They  were  the  parents 
of  eight  children,  namely :  Louis,  who  is  tilling  the  home  farm  in  Guthrie 
county;  Ida,  who  died  in  infancy;  Otto,  with  whom  this  review  directly 
treats;  Hugo,  who  died  in  infancy;  Bruna,  who  died  at  the  age  of  six  years; 
Thomas,  a  resident  of  Council  Bluffs;  Udo,  of  Wellsville,  Missouri,  and 
Edward,  formerly  a  citizen  of  Olathe,  Kansas,  now  deceased. 

Otto  Witthauer  was  reared  to  young  manhood  on  the  pioneer  farm  in 
Guthrie  county,  and  after  receiving  what  instruction  was  available  in  the 
local  district  school,  he  attended  the  county  high  school  at  Panora,  Guthrie 
county,  Iowa.  He  fitted  himself  for  the  profession  of  teaching  and  taught 
for  four  years  in  his  home  county,  after  which,  in  the  fall  of  1880,  he  entered 
the  employ  of  Captain  Stuart,  an  extensive  grain  and  lumber  merchant.  Mr. 
Witthauer  first  began  his  work  for  Captain  Stuart  in  the  latter's  lumber 
yards  at  Guthrie  Center,  but  was  soon  afterward  transferred  to  Monteith. 
In  April,  1881,  he  was  placed  in  charge  of  Captain  Stuart's  business  at  Exira, 
this  county.  The  nature  of  his  occupation  gave  him  a  wide  acquaintance 
throughout  the  county  and  he  made  many  warm  and  faithful  friends.  He 
became  his  party's  candidate  for  county  recorder  in  the  fall  of  1884,  was 
elected  to  this  office,  and  served  for  one  term  of  two  years.  Upon  the  expira- 
tion of  his  term  of  office  he  returned  to  Exira  and  engaged  in  the  mercantile 
business  on  his  own  account.  He  was  unfortunate,  for  in  1887  fire  destroyed 
his  building  and  wiped  out  the  stock  of  goods.  He  did  not  attempt  again  to 
start  in  business,  but  re-entered  Captain  Stuart's  employ  and  was  thus 
engaged  until  Stuart  disposed  of  his  business  in  the  fall  of  1888,  at  which 
time  Mr.  Witthauer  embarked  in  the  lumber  business  for  himself,  continuing 
that  business  until  1890,  when  he  sold  out  and  engaged  in  the  hardware  and 
harness  business  for  two  years,  after  which  he  was  employed  by  the  Daven- 
port Syrup  Refining  Company  as  grain  buyer  at  Exira.  He  remained  in  this 
latter  position  for  six  years,  or  until  1898,  the  firm  in  the  meantime  being 
incorporated  with  the  Davenport  Elevator  Company.  For  a  period  of  one 
and  one-half  years,  following  1898  Mr.  Witthauer  was  employed  as  manager 
for  the  Fullerton  Lumber  Company  at  Exira.  From  1899  to  1909  his  occu- 
pations were  varied  and  he  then  made  a  trip  to  Montana,  where  he  was 
superintendent  of  a  saw-mill  and  lumber  company  for  one  year.  He  returned 
home  in  1910  and  in  that  year  was  elected  to  the  office  of  auditor  of  Audubon 

In  June,  1883,  Otto  Witthauer  was  married  to  Hattie  Bowman,  of  this 
county,  to  which  union  three  children  have  been  born,  Bessie,  a  teacher  of 
music  in  the  public  schools  of  Corwith,  Iowa;  Omar,  at  home,  and  Leo,  who 
died  in  infancy. 


Mr.  Witthauer  is  a  member  of  the  Christian  church  and  is  a  consistent 
supporter  of  that  faith.  He  is  fraternally  allied  with  the  Knights  of  Pythias 
and  the  Modern  Woodmen  of  America.  Mr.  Witthauer  is  a  stanch  Democrat 
in  his  political  affiliations  and  stands  high  in  the  councils  of  his  party.  He 
was  elected  to  the  office  of  county  auditor  in  the  fall  of  19 lo  and  was  re- 
elected in  1912,  serving  two  full  terms.  He  was  a  most  capable  official  and 
enjoyed  the  confidence  and  esteem  of  the  people  of  Audubon  county,  not  only 
in  his  capacity  of  commissioner  but  as  a  citizen  who  was  held  in  high  regard 
by  all  who  knew  him.  Mr,  Witthauer  is  now  a  representative  from  Audubon 
county  in  the  state  Legislature,  having  been  elected  in  1914,  in  which  honor- 
able public  capacity  he  has  made  a  fine  reputation  throughout  the  state. 


With  affectionate  and  tender  interest  men  and  women  of  the  present 
generation,  who  are  enjoying  the  comforts  and  advantages  made  possible 
by  those  whose  works  have  ended,  revert  to  the  salient  points  of  their 
careers.  The  service  of  one's  fellows  is  the  keynote  of  honorable  and  effi- 
cient citizenship,  and  when  we  turn  the  pages  of  personal  history  and  realize 
for  the  first  time  how  far  one  noble  man  or  one  noble  woman  may  influence 
for  good  the  currents  of  life  in  a  community,  we  are  struck  with  a  sense 
of  our  own  personal  responsibilities  as  citizens  of  this  republic  and  as 
factors  in  the  community  life  of  whatever  sphere  we  may  dominate.  It  is 
not  the  man  who  makes  the  loudest  pretentions  of  greatness  who  is  really . 
great,  but  rather  the  man  who  in  a  modest  and  humble  spirit  meets  the 
obligations  which  opportunity  puts  in  his  pathway.  These  thoughts  are 
especially  suggested  by  the  career  of  the  late  John  A.  Nash,  who,  until 
his  death  on  October  28,  191 3,  was  properly  regarded  as  the  first  citizen 
of  Audubon. 

The  late  John  A.  Nash  was  fortunate  in  having  been  born  of  par- 
ents who  during  his  youth  set  for  him  a  worthy  example  of  service.  Fur- 
thermore, he  was  fortunate  in  having  been  provided  in  his  youth  with 
exceptional  educational  advantages,  which  equipped  him  for  a  large  career 
of  influence.  IMoreover,  in  Audubon  county  at  least,  he  had  the  advantage 
of  having  come  here  as  a  young  man  at  the  very  beginning  of  the  county's 
settlement,  the  beginning  of  its  agricultural  development;  the  beginning  of 
its  rise  to  distinction  among  the  sister  counties  of  the  great  Hawkeye  com- 

£,-^.ic,s.£:.itf/i<am:s  ^^i-ej\nr 

lOy      C 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,,    IOWA.  313 

monwealth.  What  he  did,  however,  from  the  beginning  of  his  career  in 
this  county  is  what  hundreds  of  other  men  similarly  situated  might  have 
failed  to  do.  He  was  able  to  see  his  opportunities  and  he  was  possessed 
of  the  inclination  and  ability  to  take  advantage  of  them. 

Though  his  last  days  here  were  darkened  by  personal  sorrow  at  the 
loss  of  a  loved  member  of  his  family,  he  nevertheless  bore  with  fortitude 
the  exacting  demands  of  the  omniscient  and  omnipotent  Father  and 
remained  until  his  death  an  optimist  in  sorrow,  one  who  could  see  behind 
the  dark  clouds  the  silver  lining  that  lay  beyond.  John  A.  Nash  excelled 
as  a  lawyer,  he  was  superb  as  a  citizen,  patient,  kind  and  unselfish  as  a 
father  and  husband. 

Born  on  May  9,  1854,  at  Des  Moines,  Iowa,  the  late  John  A.  Nash 
was  the  son  of  Rev.  John  A.  Nash,  D.  D.,  a  Baptist  minister  who  came  to 
Iowa,  locating  at  Des  Moines  about  1850,  when  that  splendid  city  of  today 
was  no  more  than  a  trading  post  on  the  outpost  of  civilization.  There  he 
lived  for  many  years,  and  there  the  greatest  work  of  his  life  was  performed. 
He  went  to  Des  Moines  as  a  miinister  in  the  church,  and  after  some  years 
established  Des  Moines  College,  an  institution  which  has  had  a  profound 
influence  on  the  life  of  this  section,  and  of  which  for  many  years  he  was 
the  president.  Both  he  and  his  good  wife,  whose  maiden  name  was  Mary 
E.  Hepburn,  were  natives  of  New  York  state  and  migrated  from  New  York 
to  Iowa.  Both  are  now  deceased.  But  their  good  work  goes  on,  not  only 
in  the  reflected  goodness  of  their  distinguished  son,  the  subject  of  this 
sketch,  but  in  the  lives  of  their  other  children  and  in  the  lives  of  the  hun- 
dreds who  came  under  the  spell  of  their  beneficent  influence.  To  Rev.  John 
A.  and  Mary  E.  (Hepburn)  Nash  were  born  three  children  besides  John 
A.,  namely:  Janet  C,  Nettie  M.  and  Harriet  N. 

John  A.  Nash,  who  was  the  eldest  of  these  children,  received  his 
elementary  education  in  the  schools  of  Des  Moines,  and  was  graduated  from 
Des  Moines  College.  It  was  there,  under  the  tutelage  of  his  father  and  the 
influence  of  the  church  that  his  early  ideals,  aspirations  and  ambitions  were 
formulated.  Naturally  the  influence  of  Christianity  was  predominant  in 
Des  Moines  College,  and  as  a  student  in  the  institution  of  which  his  father 
was  president  John  A.  Nash  came  under  this  influence.  It  is  no  doubt 
true  that  there,  in  association  with  his  fellow  students,  his  notions  of  real 
life  and  the  purposes  of  the  individual  in  society  became  fixed. 

Early  in  life  John  A.  Nash  decided  to  equip  himself  for  the  law, 
and,  after  completing  the  classisal  course  at  Des  Moines  College,  he  entered 
the  Iowa  College  of  Law,  now  a  part  of  Drake  University,  and  subsequently 

314  "  AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA, 

was  graduated  with  high  honors.  When  his  collegiate  training  was  finished 
he  was  equipped  to  practice  his  profession  in  the  largest  cities  of  the  East, 
since  his  training  was  in  no  wise  inferior  to  that  given  in  the  larger  univer- 
sities of  the  East.  But  instead  of  returning  to  the  home  of  his  father,  as 
many  other  boys  might  have  done,  he  choose  the  little  town  of  Stewart, 
Iowa,  as  a  place  where  he  might  begin  his  practice.  There  for  one  year 
he  read  law  with  a  Mr.  Fogg,  and,  after  gaining  some  practical  experience, 
the  next  year  formed  a  partnership  with  B.  S.  Phelps  and  removed  to  Exira, 
this  county.  But  Exira  was  to  be  only  a  temporary  seat  of  his  professional 
activities.  Audubon  at  that  time  was  not  counted  as  a  city,  but  upon  its 
establishment  as  the  county  seat,  Mr.  Nash  removed  to  Audubon  and  con- 
tinued in  the  practice  of  his  profession  until  July,  1913,  when  he  sold  the 
practice  and  office  to  Arnold,  Ross  &  Rasmussen. 

Two  years  after  beginning  the  practice  of  law  at  Exira,  John  A.  Nash 
was  married  on  September  i,  1880,  to  Gertrude  Russell,  daughter  of  George 
B.  and  Jane  (Hutchinson)  Russell,  who  were  natives  of  Scotland  and  New 
York  state,  respectively.  Mrs.  Nash's  father  came  to  America  when  a  mere 
lad,  and  after  remaining  for  a  time  in  New  York,  moved  to  Wisconsin, 
where  he  married  and  eventually,  in  1871,  settled  at  Exira,  this  county. 
George  B.  Russell  was  a  pioneer  merchant  in  what  was  then  a  straggling 
village  on  the  broad  prairie.  Some  years  ago  he  passed  away  in  Audubon, 
but  his  widow  is  still  living  in  California.  They  had  four  children:  Mrs. 
Agnes  R.  Stotts;  Charles  H.,  who  died  in  1898;  Mrs.  Gertrude  Nash,  who 
was  born  on  February  3,  1863,  and  James  F.,  of  Ft.  Dodge,  Iowa. 

To  John  A.  and  Gertrude  (Russell)  Nash  two  daughters  were  born, 
Beatrice,  born  on  June  11,  1881,  and  Gretchen  Russell,  August  25,  1883. 
The  former  is  the  wife  of  Nelson  W.  Cowles,  of  Ottumwa,   Iowa. 

The  last  years  of  the  late  John  A.  Nash  were  darkened  by  the 
sickness  and  death  of  his  younger  daughter,  Gretchen  Russell,  who  died  at 
Monrovia,  California,  on  ]\Iarch  23,  1913,  after  an  illness  of  two  years. 
It  was  only  seven  months  later  that  Mr.  Nash  himself  died.  Mrs.  Nash 
spent  the  last  two  years  of  her  daughter's  life  with  the  latter  in  California, 
during  which  time  Mr.  Nash  made  several  trips  to  that  state.  The  news  of 
Gretchen  Nash's  death  brought  sorrow  to  a  large  circle  of  friends  in  Audu- 
bon, Iowa.  The  remains  were  brought  back  to  Audubon  by  her  parents 
and  the  funeral  services  were  conducted  by  A.  B.  Miller. 

The  late  John  A.  Nash  will  go  down  in  the  history  of  this  section  as 
one  of  the  leading  citizens  of  Audubon,  where  he  had  a  host  of  friends. 
Having  gone  to  Audubon  in  the  first  place  in  the  employ  of  the  Chicago, 


Rock  Island  &  Pacific  Railroad  to  quiet  the  titles  to  land  owned  by  the 
company,  in  Audubon,  Shelby  and  Carroll  counties,  Mr.  Nash  had  enjoyed, 
up  to  within  a  few  months  before  his  death,  when  he  abandoned  the  prac- 
tice of  law,  a  large  legal  business  in  this  section  of  Iowa.  He  was  a  man 
of  quiet  and  unassuming  manners  and  retiring  disposition,  who  avoided  all 
display  of  whatever  kind.  He  did  much  for  the  city  where  he  lived  so 
long,  which  his  surviving  fellow  townsmen  remember  with  personal  admira- 
tion for  the  memory  of  the  man.  Although  he  served  with  distinguished 
ability  as  mayor  of  Audubon,  perhaps  his  most  helpful  service  was  per- 
formed as  a  private  citizen.  He  was  prominent  in  the  fraternal  circles  of 
the  city,  having  been  a  member  of  the  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons, 
in  which  order  he  had  attained  to  the  chapter  and  commandery,  the  Scot- 
tish Rite  and  the  Mystic  Shrine.  He  was  also  at  the  time  of  his  death  a  past 
chancellor  of  the  Audubon  lodge  of  the  Knights  of  Pythias.  Though  his 
wife  and  daughters  were  Presbyterians,  Mr.  Nash  himself  was  not  a  mem- 
ber of  the  church.  Mrs.  Nash,  who  survives  her  husband,  is  a  fine  type  of 
the  broad-minded,  cultured  and  refined  woman,  who  enjoys  the  sincerest 
respect  and  esteem  of  the  entire  community. 

Other  men  perhaps  will  perform  worthy  service  in  this  great  county; 
men  are  doing  it  today,  in  fact,  but  it  is  doubtful  whether  any  other  man 
will  ever  perform  a  service  greater  than  that  of  the  late  John  A.  Nash,  who, 
a  man  that  might  have  fitted  into  the  cultured  and  exacting  social  life  of  the 
East,  chose  as  his  sphere  of  action  a  straggling  village  on  these  broad 
prairies.  His  work  is  done,  but  his  influence  will  live  as  long  as  this  favored 
section  endures. 


The  peculiar  rewards  accruing  to  a  person  who  follows  the  profession 
of  teaching  for  a  long  number  of  years  are  not  great,  but  the  honor  and 
satisfaction  of  knowing  that  one  has  accomplished  a  great  deal  of  good  and 
molded  many  minds  to  the  right  way  of  living  and  thinking,  more  than 
compensates  for  the  lack  of  large  compensation.  While  it  is  true  that  the 
rank  and  file  of  teachers  are  not  paid  in  the  same  ratio  that  those  who  follow 
other  learned  professions  are  rewarded,  yet  there  are,  as  in  other  vocations, 
high  places  for  those  who  are  deserving.  'There  is  always  room  at  the 
top,"  is  a  tried  and  true  saying,  and  it  might  be  added  that  the  top  is  never 
overcrowded  with  the  really  capable.     One  of  the  recognized  leaders  in  the 

3l6  AUDUBON    COUNTY_,    IOWA. 

teaching  profession,  one  who  has  risen  to  a  high  place  in  her  chosen  life 
work,  is  Ella  M.  Stearns,  county  superintendent  of  schools  for  Audubon 

Ella  M.  Stearns  was  born  in  Oxford  county,  Maine,  daughter  of 
Stephen  B.  and  Mary  (Gordon)  Steams,  the  former  of  whom  was  a  native 
of  Oxford  county,  Maine,  and  the  latter  a  native  of  Freyburg,  Maine.  Fol- 
lowing the  death  of  Stephen  B.  Stearns,  his  family,  in  1874,  emigrated  to 
Michigan,  and  two  years  later,  in  1876,  the  sons,  Stephen,  Sewell  and  H. 
Wilbur,  came  to  Audubon  county  in  order  to  make  a  permanent  home. 
Mrs.  Stearns  came  on  later  to  join  them  in  making  a  home  and  died  at  the 
home  in  Luccocks  Grove  not  long  after  her  arrival  in  the  county.  Stephen 
and  Sewell  went  further  west  after  some  years  of  residence  here  and  Stephen 
now  resides  in  Kansas  City  and  Sewell  is  located  in  Tacoma,  Washington. 
There  were  nine  children  in  the  Stearns  family,  all  of  whom  but  four  re- 
mained in  the  East.  These  children,  besides  the  subject  of  this  sketch,  are 
George,  residing  at  Spring  Creek,  Pennsylvania;  J.  C,  living  at  Lovell 
Center,  Maine;  Mrs.  Carrie  Leighton,  of  Indianapolis;  Mrs.  Belle  Hurlman, 
of  Great  Falls,  Maine;  Mrs.  Sarah  Stearne,  of  Lovell  Center,  Maine;  Stephen, 
a  resident  of  Kansas  City;  Sewell,  of  Tacoma,  Washington,  and  H.  W., 
formerly  a  resident  of  Audubon  county,  who  recently  died,  was  one  of  the 
well-known  citizens  of  the  county,  and  left  four  children,  Virgil,  Mereber, 
Helen  and  Russell. 

Ella  M.  Stearns  was  educated  in  the  high  school  of  Ludington,  Michi- 
gan, the  Bloomfield  Normal  School,  and  the  State  Teachers  College  at  Cedar 
Falls,  Iowa.  She  studied  in  the  various  schools  and  colleges  while  teaching 
and  practically  made  her  own  way.  Miss  Stearns  taught  her  first  school  in  a 
board  shanty  in  Douglas  township,  Audubon  county.  This  shanty  was  put 
up  roughly  and  was  covered  with  tar-paper  roofing,  a  good  example  of  the 
makeshift  school  buildings  of  the  time.  Her  next  school  was  taught  in  an 
old  granary,  which  sufficed  for  a  temple  of  learning  in  Viola  township. 
She  also  taught  the  "J^ck  Whipple"  school  in  Lincoln  township  and  taught 
likewise  in  rural  schools  in  Leroy  and  Melville  township.  She  became  so 
well  and  favorably  known  throughout  the  county  as  an  able  and  forceful 
teacher  that  her  services  became  greatly  in  demand  and  positions  were  ofifered 
her  in  various  parts  of  the  county.  While  teaching  in  the  Exira  schools, 
a  position  which  had  come  without  solicitation  on  her  part,  she  was  offered 
a  situation  in  the  Audubon  schools.  She  accepted  and  for  a  number  of 
years  was  at  the  head  of  the  city  grammar  school,  later  serving  as  principal 
of  the  high  school  and  teacher  of  English.    Miss  Steams  served  for  twenty- 


three  years  in  the  Audubon  schools,  and  it  was  only  natural  that  she  should 
eventually  assume  the  highest  position  in  educational  circles  possible  within 
the  gift  of  the  people  of  Audubon  county.  In  January  of  1907  she  became 
county  superintendent  of  schools  for  Audubon  county  and  has  since  then 
continuously  served  in  this  important  capacity.  During  her  administration 
the  public  schools  have  made  marked  progress  and  modern  methods  are  in 
evidence  in  practically  every  district  in  the  county. 

Miss  Stearns  is  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian  church.  She  takes  an 
active  part  in  the  affairs  of  the  "P.  E.  O."  and  the  Columbian  Club  and 
the  Woman's  Club  of  Audubon  and  is  universally  esteemed  by  all  classes 
in  Audubon  county  for  her  many  excellent  qualities  and  her  ability  as  an 
educator.  Despite  the  fact  that  her  teaching  experience  has  been  longer  than 
most  teachers  of  the  county,  she  has  never  allowed  her  energy  and  determi- 
nation to  flag,  or  herself  to  retrogade  intellectually  or  mentally,  and  she  has 
kept  pace  with  the  latest  developments  in  her  profession.. 


Specific  mention  is  made  of  many  of  the  worthy  citizens  of  Audubon 
county,  Iowa,  within  the  pages  of  this  book.  Citizens  who  have  figuerd 
in  the  growth  and  development  of  this  favored  locality  and  whose  interests 
are  identified  with  its  every  phase  of  progress.  Each  has  contributed  in 
his  special  sphere  of  activity  to  the  well-being  of  the  community  in  which 
he  resides  and  to  the  advancement  of  its  moral  and  legitimate  growth.  Among 
this  number  is  Charles  Sunberg,  to  whose  career  peculiar  interest  attaches 
from  the  fact  that  a  good  part  of  his  life  has  been  spent  in  Audubon  county 
and  that  he  is  now  filling  one  of  the  responsible  offices  within  the  gift  of  the 
people  of  this  county,  being  the  present  efficient  and  popular  sheriff  of  Aubu- 
bon  county. 

Charles  Sunberg  was  born  on  a  farm  in  Johnson  county,  Iowa,  on 
September  9,  1871,  son  of  Henry  and  Hannah  (Ahrend)  Sunberg,  natives 
of  Germany.  Henry  Sunberg  was  born  in  1843,  the  son  of  a  farmer,  and 
with  his  wife  came  to  America  in  the  spring  of  1871,  settling  on  a  farm  near 
Iowa  City,  in  Johnson  county,  this  state,  where  he  resided  until  1885,  a 
period  of  fourteen  years,  after  which  he  came  to  Audubon  county  and  settled 
on  a  farm  of  two  hundred  and  forty  acres  in  Melville  township.  In  1907 
he  moved  to  a  farm  south  of  Audubon  and  in  the  spring  of   19 14  retired 


and  moved  to  Audubon,  at  that  time  being  the  owner  of  two  hundred  and 
eighty  acres.  The  children  born  to  Henry  and  Anna  (Ahrend)  Sunberg 
were  seven  in  number,  namely:  Fred  C,  who  lives  near  the  old  home  place; 
Charles,  the  subject  of  this  sketch;  Frank,  now  living  retired  in  Audubon; 
Mrs.  Minnie  Owen,  living  in  Viola  township;  John,  living  in  Hamlin  town- 
ship; Henry,  Jr.,  of  Viola  township,  and  Mrs.  Anna  Leflar,  who  lives  on  the 
old  home  place. 

Charles  Sunberg  attended  school  in  Johnson  county,  and  on  coming 
to  Audubon  coimty  assisted  his  father  on  the  farm  until  he  attained  his 
majority.  He  then  rented  a  farm  in  the  eastern  part  of  Melville  township 
for  four  years,  after  which  he  took  up  contracting  and  building,  with  head- 
quarters in  Audubon.  In  191 1  he  was  appointed  deputy  sherifif,  and  served 
two  years  in  that  office.  In  the  fall  of  1912  j\Ir.  Sunberg  was  selected 
sheriff  and  was  re-elected  for  the  second  term  in  the  fall  of  19 14,  now  filling 
that  office  very  efficiently. 

On  June  21,  1905,  Charles  Sunberg  was  married  to  Clemency  Leib, 
the  daughter  of  Ernest  and  Louisa  (Frieberg)  Leib,  natives  of  Germany, 
who  settled  in  Michigan  after  coming  to  this  country  and  were  there  married. 
iM-om  that  region  they  removed  to  Montgomery  county,  Iowa,  and  in  1844 
they  came  to  Audubon  county,  locating  on  the  farm,  where  Ernest  Lieb 
died  in  1902.  His  widow,  who  lives  in  Audubon,  was  born  in  Germany  in 
1838,  and  emigrated  to  Michigan  with  her  mother  when  a  young  woman 
and  was  there  married.  Mrs.  Sunberg  is  one  of  ten  children,  four  sons 
and  six  daughters,  as  follow :  Leopold,  who  lives  in  South  Dakota ;  Robert, 
of  Guthrie  county,  Iowa;  Richard,  of  Audubon  county;  Otto,  of  Guthrie 
county;  Frank,  who  was  killed  in  Audubon  in  the  spring  of  1.904;  Mrs. 
Emma  Lee,  who  lives  in  Guthrie  county;  Mrs.  Dena  Lee,  of  Sac  City; 
Mrs.  Anna  Brown,  of  Sac  City;  Mrs.  G.  C.  Dettmann,  of  Valley  Junc- 
tion, Iowa,  and  Clemency,  who  married  Mr.  Sunberg. 

Charles  Sunberg  is  an  ardent  Democrat  and  for  many  years  has  been 
active  in  the  councils  of  that  party  in  Audubon  county.  He  is  a  member 
of  the  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows  and  of  the  Modern  Woodmen 
of  America.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sunberg  are  members  of  the  Methodist  Episco- 
pal church,  and  are  active  in  the  affairs  of  that  church  and  of  the  Sunday 

Sheriff  Charles  Sunl)erg  naturally  is  well  known  throughout  the  length 
and  breadth  of  Audubon  county,  and  is  a  man  highly  respected  for  his 
many  good  qualities  of  head  and  heart,  being  held  in  the  warmest  esteem 
by  all  who  know  him. 



Not  too  often  can  be  repeated  the  life  history  of  one  who  has  hved 
so  honorable  and  useful  a  life  as  Frank  Kreamer,  the  present  efficient  post- 
master of  Exira,  Iowa.  As  a  private  citizen  and  as  a  public  official,  he  has 
been  a  pronounced  success.  There  are  individuals  in  nearly  every  com- 
munity who,  by  reason  of  their  ability  and  force  of  character,  rise  above 
the  heads  of  the  masses  and  command  the  esteem  of  their  fellow  men. 
These  individuals  are  characterized  by  perseverance  and  a  directing  spirit, 
two  virtues  that  never  fail.  They  always  make  their  presence  felt  and  the 
vigor  of  their  strong  personalities  serves  as  a  stimulus  to  others.  To  this 
enterprising   and    energetic   class,    Frank    Kreamer   very    properly   belongs. 

Frank  Kreamer  was  born  in  Cass  county,  Iowa,  on  August  23,  1879, 
the  son  of  George  and  Elvina  (Cahoon)  Kreamer,  both  natives  of  Penn- 
sylvania. George  Kreamer  left  Pennsylvania  when  a  young  man  with  his 
parents,  and  located  in  Illinois,  where  he  farmed  with  his  father.  When  the 
Civil  War  broke  out,  he  enlisted  in  the  Forty-sixth  Illinois  Regiment,  Vol- 
unteer Infantry,  and  served  about  a  year.  He  then  returned  home  and  after 
his  marriage  came  to  Iowa,  settling  in  Cass  county,  where  he  purchased  a 
farm,  remaining  there  until  1891,  in  which  year  he  moved  to  Exira,  this 
county,  where  he  purchased  a  grocery  store,  in  partnership  with  F.  L.  Odell, 
the  business  being  conducted  under  the  firm  name  of  Kreamer  &  Odell  for 
nine  vears,  at  the  end  of  which  time  Mr.  Kreamer  retired,  his  death  oc- 
curring  in  1904.  His  wife  had  preceded  him  to  the  grave  in  1893.  They 
were  the  parents  of  four  children,  Ida,  who  married  F.  L.  Odell;  Edna, 
who  married  Clarence  Maisling;  Salome,  who  married  Frank  Shranger,  and 
Frank,  who  is  the  subject  of  this  sketch. 

Frank  Kreamer  received  his  "elementary  education  in  the  schools  of 
Cass  county,  and  at  Exira,  and  was  graduated  from  the  Exira  high  school, 
after  leaving  which  he  attended  Ames  College  for  three  years.  After  leav- 
ing college,  he  enlisted  as  a  soldier  in  the  Spanish-American  War,  enlisting 
at  Des  Moines,  Iowa,  in  Company  F.,  Fifty-second  Iowa  Volunteer  Infantry, 
in  which  he  served  six  months,  being  mustered  out  on  November  30,  1898. 
Upon  his  return  home  he  went  west,  where  he  remained  for  a  few  years, 
after  which  he  returned  to  Exira,  where  he  had  charge  of  a  mail  route  for 
three  years,  at  the  end  of  which  time  he  engaged  in  the  coal  and  feed 
business  for  one  year,  and  on  August  i,  191 1,  became  postmaster  of  Exira 
and  is  still  occupying  that  position. 

On  August  8,    1908,  Frank  Kreamer  was  married  to  ]Maude  Hamlin, 


daughter  of  Nathaniel  Douglas  and  Elva  (Crane)  Hamlin,  to  which  union 
three  children  have  been  born,  Elva,  Mona  and  Kathleen. 

Mr.  Kreamer  is  a  member  of  the  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons. 
He  is  an  ardent  Republican  and  is  influential  in  the  councils  of  that  party 
in  this  county.  He  is  a  good  citizen  and  well  deserves  the  words  of  com- 
mendation, confidence  and  esteem  which  have  been  bestowed  upon  him  by 
his  fellow  citizens. 


George  W.  Hoover  belongs  to  that  class  of  men  who  win  in  life's  battles 
by  sheer  force  of  personality  and  determination,  coupled  with  soundness  of 
judgment  and  keen  discrimination.  In  whatever  Mr.  Hoover  has  under- 
taken, and  he  has  been  engaged  in  many  lines  of  activity,  he  has  shown  him- 
self to  be  a  man  of  ability  and  honor.  He  is  always  ready  to  lend  his  aid  in 
defending  the  principles  affecting  the  public  good.  He  has  ably  and  con- 
scientiously performed  all  the  duties  of  a  public  and  private  citizen,  and  has 
conducted  himself  in  such  a  manner  as  to  win  the  unqualified  indorsement 
and  support  of  his  business  associates  and  his  fellow  citizens. 

George  W.  Hoover  was  born  in  Johnson  county.  Iowa,  on  January  14, 
1856,  a  son  of  George  and  Catherine  (Horton)  Hoover,  who  were  both 
natives  of  Pennsylvania.  They  were  married  in  the  latter  state  and  came  to 
Iowa,  shortly  after  their  marriage,  settling  in  Johnson  county,  where  they 
spent  the  rest  of  their  lives.  To  George  and  Catherine  (Horton)  Hoover 
were  born  five  children,  Charles,  Emily,  Levi,  George  W.  and  Maria,  all  of 
whom  are  living  with  the  exception  of  Levi. 

George  W.  Hoover  was  educated  in  the  common  schools  of  Johnson 
county,  Iowa,  receiving  a  good  common-school  education,  and  after  leaving 
school,  took  up  farming  as  a  vocation,  which  he  followed  for  several  years, 
being  also  incidentally  engaged  in  carpenter  work  and  contracting  for  some 
time.  Mr.  Hoover  was  not  only  a  successful  farmer,  but  he  made  a  success 
of  the  contracting  business  as  well.  In  1888  he  engaged  in  the  hardware 
business  in  the  city  of  Audubon  and  continued  in  this  line  for  twenty  years, 
at  the  expiration  of  which  time  he  disposed  of  his  hardware  business.  In 
the  meantime  he  had  built  up  a  large  and  lucrative  trade  in  the  retail  sale  of 
hardware  and  implements  under  the  firm  name  of  the  Audubon  Hardware 
Company.  At  the  present  time  ]\Ir.  Hoover  is  engaged  in  the  furniture  and 
undertaking  business,  and  has  one  of  the  best  stores  in  Audubon. 

'-^  32,1"  a  TI^^A-r^i  ^Sr^  ^nr 

^--CT—Cr—z^.  ^^ 


AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  32 1 

George  W.  Hoover  was  married  in  1880  to  Maggie  Reynolds,  the 
daughter  of  John  and  Lucy  Reynolds,  both  natives  of  Johnson  county, 
Iowa.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hoover  are  the  parents  of  four  children:  May,  who 
married  W.  W.  Waldron,  and  Karl,  Jessie  and  Jessamine,  who  are  at  home. 

Mr.  Hoover  is  a  member  of  the  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows. 
He  is  also  a  member  of  the  Benevolent  and  Protective  Order  of  Elks  at 
Atlantic.  He  is  a  Democrat,  but  has  never  been  active  in  political  affairs, 
and  has  never  held  office.  He  has  been  largely  and  actively  interested  in 
public  affairs,  however,  and  was  president  of  the  Audubon  County  Agricul- 
ture Society  for  thirteen  years,  during  which  time  he  developed  it  into  a 
strong  organization.  Mr.  Hoover  also  has  had  charge  of  Maple  Grove 
cemetery  for  the  past  eight  years  and  has  cleaned  it  up  and  added  very  much 
to  its  attractiveness. 


Professional  success  results  from  merit.  Frequently  in  commercial 
life  one  may  come  into  possession  of  a  lucrative  business  through  inheritance 
or  gift,  but  in  what  is  known  as  the  learned  professions  advancement  is 
gained  only  through  painstaking  and  long-continued  effort.  The  lawyer  or 
physician  does  not  enjoy  the  privilege  of  exploiting  his  profession  in  order 
U)  gain  a  clientele.  He  must  thoroughly  prepare  himself  and  be  educated 
broadly  ''n  order  that  his  mental  development  may  be  such  as  to  enable  him 
to  quickly  grasp  the  points  of  a  cause  presented  for  his  consideration.  He 
must  be  well  grounded  in  the  deep,  underlying  principles  of  his  profession; 
whereas,  the  business  man  or  merchant  often  engages  in  trade  or  commerce 
with  little  or  no  preparation  other  than  his  native  ability.  It  frequently 
happens  that  members  of  the  legal  profession  are  called  upon  the  take  charge 
of  extensive  business  undertakings,  lawyers  being  required  in  the  conduct 
of  great  corporations  and  kindred  concerns  on  account  of  their  thorough, 
and  well-grounded  knowledge  of  business  law  and  ethics.  As  a  general 
rule,  they  are  excellent  financiers  and  not  infrequently  achieve  success  in 
other  lines  which  may  properly  be  conducted  along  with  their  legal  busi- 
ness. A  high  type  of  successful  attorney,  a  prominent  member  of  the  bar 
of  western  Iowa,  is  found  in  the  person  of  Charles  Bagley,  of  Audubon, 
whose  name  forms  the  caption  of  this  biographical  sketch. 

Charles  Bagley  was  born  on  May  29,  1854,  in  West  Liberty,  Cedar 

322  AUDUBON    COUNTY_,    IOWA. 

county,  Iowa,  son  of  William  A.  and  Lucretia  (Burgan)  Bagley,  natives 
of  the  old  Buckeye  state.  The  Bagley  family  is  a  very  old  one  in  America, 
Charles  Bagley  tracing  his  lineage  back  to  Mary  Chilton,  who  came  over 
from  England  in  the  "Mayflower."  The  father  of  William  A.  Bagley 
emigrated  from  Vermont  to  Ohio  and  thence  to  Iowa,  where  he  became 
the  owner  of  the  land  on  which  the  city  of  West  Liberty  was  built.  This 
tract  was  deeded  to  William  A.  Bagley  by  his  mother  after  his  father's 
death.  William  A.  Bagley,  after  he  grew  to  manhood,  married  and  settled 
on  a  farm  in  Muscatine  county,  after  a  residence  in  Cedar  county,  where 
Charles  was  born.  In  1873  he  removed  to  Cass  county  and  tilled  a  fine 
farm  there  until  his  retirement  to  the  city  of  Atlantic,  where  he  died  in 

To  William  A.  and  Lucretia  (Burgan)  Bagley  were  born  the  following 
children:  W.  F.,  of  Topeka,  Kansas;  Bert,  a  farmer  near  Atlantic,  Iowa; 
Mrs.  Mary  Smedley,  of  Randolph,  Nebraska;  Mrs.  Hattie  Alexander,  a 
resident  of  Colby,  Kansas;  Mrs.  Kate  Alexander,  of  Atlantic,  Iowa;  Mrs. 
Sallie  Ellett,  living  at  Guthrie  Center,  Guthrie  county,  Iowa;  Charles,  the 
subject  of  this  sketch;  Emma,  who  died  at  the  age  of  twenty-five  years; 
Louise,  of  Atlantic,  and  Scott,  residing  in  Oregon. 

Charles  Bagley  was  educated  in  the  district  school  and  at  a  select 
school  at  Walton  Junction,  Iowa,  later  attending  the  high  school  at  At- 
lantic. From  his  boyhood  days,  he  practically  made  his  own  way  and  edu- 
cated himself  in  preparation  for  the  practice  of  law.  The  only  assistance 
that  he  received  from  his  father  was  a  team  of  horses.  This  team  was  given 
him  to  assist  him  in  farming.  After  attending  the  high  school,  Mr.  Bagley 
taught  school  and  farmed  in  order  to  raise  money  with  which  to  defray 
the  expenses  of  a  higher  education.  He  managed  to  gain  a  liberal  educa- 
tion, not  only  in  literature  and  the  sciences  but  in  the  legal  department 
of  the  State  University  as  well,  and  was  graduated  from  the  collegiate 
department  of  the  State  University,  and  also  was  graduated,  with  the  de- 
gree of  Bachelor  of  Laws,  in  the  State  University  at  Iowa  City  in  1881. 
He  taught  a  term  of  school  in  Nebraska  in  1881  and  then  located  in  Audubon, 
where  he  became  one  of  the  pioneer  attorneys  of  the  new  and  growing 
town.  He  began  the  practice  of  law  and  also  took  up  the  real  estate  and 
insurance  business  and  has  been  successful  in  his  various  enterprises.  He 
also  added  an  abstract  department  which  he  is  yet  conducting  with  the 
assistance  of  his  two  sons,  who  are  now  associated  with  him  in  the  offices. 
Mr.  Bagley  has  prospered  and  has  a  fair  share  of  this  world's  goods.     He 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  '      323 

is  the  owner  of  a  farm  of  two  hundred  and  fifty-five  acres  in  Audubon 
county,  in  addition  to  being  the  owner  of  considerable  real  estate. 

In  1888,  Charles  Bagley  was  united  in  marriage  with  Amanda  Williams, 
of  Audubon,  a  native  of  Jasper  county,  Iowa,  daughter  of  Richard  Will- 
iams, to  which  union  four  children  have  been  born,  namely:  Louis  C.  a 
graduate  of  the  Audubon  high  school  and  the  law  college  of  the  State 
University,  who  is  now  with  his  father  in  the  law  ofiices;  Frank,  also  a 
graduate  of  the  Audubon  high  school,  likewise  associated  with  his  father, 
and  Marion  and  Russell,  students  in  the  high  school. 

Mr.  Bagley  is  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian  church  and  contributes 
of  his  time  and  means  to  the  support  of  that  denomination.  He  is  a 
member  of  the  Knights  of  Pythias.  He  is  a  Republican,  but  has  never 
been  an  office  seeker  nor  sought  political  preferment  to  any  extent.  How- 
ever, he  fulfilled  his  civic  obligations  to  his  home  town  by  serving  two 
terms  as  mayor  of  Audubon.  Otherwise,  he  has  been  content  to  take  his 
place  in  the  ranks  of  the  mass  of  voters  and  vote  for  his  favorite  principles 
of  government  and  for  the  most  capable  candidates  who,  in  his  estimation, 
were  best  fitted  to  fill  the  offices  sought.  Mr.  Bagley  is  a  cultured,  well- 
read  and  broad-minded  gentleman,  who  is  highly  esteemed  by  all  who  know 
him  in  his  home  community. 


To  write  the  personal  records  of  men  who  have  raised  themselves  from 
humble  circumstances  to  positions  of  responsibility  and  trust  in  a  community 
is  no  ordinary  pleasure.  Self-made  men,  men  who  have  achieved  success 
by  reason  of  their  personal  qualities  and  who  have  left  the  impressions  of 
their  individualities  upon  the  business  and  political  life  of  their  community; 
men  who  affect  for  good  such  institutions  as  are  embraced  in  their  spheres 
of  usefulness  unwittingly,  perhaps,  built  monuments  more  enduring  than 
marble  obelisks  or  granite  shafts.  Such  a  man  is  Harry  A.  Northup,  the 
present  auditor  of  Audubon  county,  Iowa,  member  of  the  firm  of  Northrup 
Brothers,  dealers  in  grain  and  live  stock,  one  of  the  best-known  citizens 
of  Audubon  county. 

Harry  A.  Northup  was  born  on  February  7,  1876,  on  a  farm  in  Johnson 
county,  Iowa,  son  of  Nathan  and  Harriet  (Sherlock)  Northup,  the  former 
of  whom  was  a  native  of   Vermont,  and  the  latter  a  native  of  England. 


Nathan  Northup  was  bom  in  18 17  and  died  in  1891.  He  was  reared  in 
Vermont  and  in  early  manhood  migrated  to  Ohio,  where  he  married,  and 
in  the  sixties  came  to  Iowa,  locating  in  Johnson  county,  where  his  wife 
died  and  he  married,  secondly,  Harriet  Sherlock,  who  was  born  in  England 
in  1835,  the  daughter  of  Thomas  Sherlock,  who  located  in  Johnson  county, 
Iowa,  upon  coming  to  this  country,  where  he  spent  the  rest  of  his  life. 
Nathan  Northup  came  to  Audubon  county  in  1882,  settling  on  a  farm  of 
eighty  acres  in  Douglas  township,  where  the  remainder  of  his  life  was  spent. 

To  Nathan  and  Harriet  (Sherlock)  Northup  the  following  children 
were  bom :  Ernest,  deceased ;  Edwin,  who  lives  at  Vallesca,  Iowa ;  Richard, 
ex-sheriff  of  this  county;  Mrs.  Martha  Oxer,  of  Franklin,  Nebraska;  Mrs. 
Mary  Myers,  deceased;  George,  who  is  a  partner  of  his  brother,  Harry,  in 
the  grain  and  live  stock  business  at  Audubon;  Mrs.  Myra  Holcomb,  of 
Spokane,  Washington;  Jasper,  of  Audubon;  Harry  A.,  the  subject  of  this 
sketch,  and  Mrs.  Emma  Norton,  of  Yale,  Iowa.  The  mother  of  these 
children  died  on  August  30,  1909,  having  survived  her  husband  nearly 
twenty  years. 

Harry  A.  Northrup  was  educated  in  the  public  schools  of  Douglass 
township,  this  county,  and  farmed  with  his  brother  on  the  home  place, 
renting  land  until  he  became  eighteen  years  of  age.  He  then  managed  the 
farm  until  his  widowed  mother  sold  it,  and  after  that  returned  to  Johnson 
county,  this  state,  where  he  worked  for  one  season.  In  1897  M^-  Northup 
married  and  moved  to  a  farm  in  Cameron  township,  this  county,  where 
he  remained  for  ten  years.  He  then,  for  a  little  more  than  three  years, 
bought  and  shipped  grain  at  Ross,  Iowa,  for  the  Trans-Mississippi  Grain 
Company,  and  in  the  spring  of  19 10  moved  to  Audubon,  where  he  formed 
a  partnership  with  his  two  brothers,  George  and  Richard,  in  the  grain 
and  live-stock  business,  under  the  firm  name  of  Northup  Brothers. 

On  March  10,  1897,  Harry  A.  Northup  was  married  to  Cora  A.  Mc- 
Cristal,  of  Audubon,  daughter  of  William  and  Martha  McCristal,  both 
of  whom  are  now  deceased.  To  this  happy  vmion  two  children  have  been 
born.  Hazel,  born  on  January  24,  1898,  and  Merrill,  July  2^,  1900. 

In  the  fall  of  19 14  Harry  A.  Northup  was  a  candidate  on  the  Demo- 
cratic ticket  for  auditor  of  Audubon  county  and  was  triumphantly  elected. 
He  took  the  office  of  county  auditor  on  January  i,  19 15.  and  is  now 
filling  that  office  with  credit  to  himself  and  with  satisfaction  to  the  people 
of  Audubon  county  who  elected  him.  Mr.  Northup  is  a  stanch  Democrat 
and  for  many  years  has  been  active  in  the  councils  of  his  party^.  He  is  a 
member  of  the  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows  and  of  the  Modern 
Woodmen  of  America. 



The  career  of  Soren  Madsen,  a  retired  farmer  of  Greeley  township,  this 
county,  and  the  president  of  the  First  National  Bank  of  Exira,  should  serve 
as  an  inspiration  to  every  young  man.  Mr.  Madsen's  youth  was  filled  with 
few  of  the  joys  which  fall  within  the  experience  of  most  boys  of  today. 
From  the  time  he  was  eight  years  old  he  was  compelled  to  support  himself  by 
the  labor  of  his  own  hands.  Coming  to  America  when  he  was  twenty  years 
old,  he  took  up  quickly  with  the  ways  of  his  adopted  country  and  in  a  com- 
paratively brief  period  became  a  successful  farmer  and  banker.  He  is  now 
known  throughout  Audubon  county  as  one  of  the  most  successful  citizens  of 
this  part  of  the  state.  His  career  only  goes  to  show  what  determination, 
industry  and  personal  economy  will  accomplish.  Many  of  Soren  Madsen's 
fellow  countrymen  have  made  good  in  America,  and  they  deserve  unfailing 
credit  for  their  achievements. 

Soren  Madsen  was  born  in  Denmark  on  February  7,  i8'6i,  son  of  Nels 
and  Marie  (Jacobsen)  Madsen,  both  of  whom  were  native-born  citizens  of 
Denmark.  Nels  Madsen  was  a  farmer  and  worked  as  a  farm  hand  until  he 
came  to  America  in  1885,  joining  his  son,  Soren,  in  Hamlin  township,  this 
county,  where  he  purchased  forty  acres  of  land,  which  he  farmed  for  a  time. 
His  wife  died  in  1887,  and  two  years  afterward,  in  1889,  he  passed  away. 
Nels  and  Marie  (Jacobsen)  Madsen  had  only  two  children,  Soren  and  Marie, 
the  latter  of  whom'  married  Hans  Rasmussen,  who  is  now  deceased,  his 
widow  living  in  Hamlin  township.  From  the  time  Soren  Madsen  was  eight 
years  old,  and  after  leaving  school,  he  worked  out  as  a  farm  hand  until  he 
came  to  America. 

Upon  arriving  in  this  country,  in  1881,  at  the  age  of  twenty  years,  Soren 
Madsen  located  first  at  Avoca,  Iowa.  After  working  there  for  eleven  months 
on  a  railroad,  he  went  to  Utah.  In  the  fall  of  1882,  one  year  after  his  arrival 
in  America,  he  began  working  in  a  smelter  and  mining  camp,  a  position  he 
held  for  two  and  one-half  years,  at  the  end  of  which  time  he  came  to  Audubon 
county,  where  he  purchased  eighty  acres  of  land  in  Hamlin  township.  By 
characteristic  energy  and' good  management,  Mr.  Madsen  was  able  to  increase 
his  farm  holdings  to  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres,  after  which  he  moved  to 
Sharon  township,  where  he  lived  for  eleven  years.  Selling  his  farm  property 
in  Sharon  township,  Mr.  Madsen  purchased  two  hundred  and  forty-six  acres 
in  Greeley  township,  and  engaged  in  general  farming  and  stock  raising  until 
he  retired.  During  all  this  period  Mr.  Madsen  raised  from  a  hundred  and 
twenty-five  to  a  hundred  and  fifty  head  of  hogs  every  year,  besides  a  carload 


of  cattle.  In  fact  his  experience  in  raising  hogs  and  cattle  was  the  basis  of 
his  success  as  a  farmer. 

On  May  15,  1888,  Soren  Madsen  was  married  to  Christina  Wolf,  the 
daughter  of  Peter  and  Margaret  (Petersen)  Wolf,  both  natives  of  Schleswig, 
Germany.  Peter  Wolf  was  a  farmer  in  his  native  land,  and  was  also  engaged 
in  purchasing  cattle.  He  came  to  America  in  1883  and  located  in  Audubon 
county,  purchasing  land  west  of  Exira,  living  there  until  1903,  in  which  year 
he  retired  and  moved  to  Exira.  He  prospered  and  increased  his  original 
holdings  of  ninety-one  acres  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  acres.  Peter  Wolf  and 
wife  were  the  parents  of  eight  children,  of  whom  Christina,  wife  of  Mr. 
Madsen,  was  the  fourth  born.  The  others  were  Welberg,  Jens,  Chris,  Botilda, 
Margaret,  Mary  and  Lena. 

To  Soren  and  Christina  (Wolf)  Madsen  four  children  have  been  born, 
Marie,  Anna,  Nels  and  August.  All  of  these  children  are  unmarried,  and  all 
the  living  at  home  with  their  parents. 

Mr.  Madsen  is  a  member  of  the  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons. 
He  is  county  supervisor  of  Audubon  county  and  a  member  of  the  Exira  town 
council.  In  politics  he  is  an  ardent  and  enthusiastic  Democrat.  For  some 
time  Mr.  Madsen  has  been  serving  as  president  of  the  First  National  Bank  of 
Exira,  and  has  proved  himself  to  be  a  man  capable  of  performing  the  import- 
ant and  highly  technical  duties  of  a  successful  banker. 


The  world  has  little  use  for  the  misanthrope.  The  universal  brotherhood 
of  men  is  widely  recognized,  as  is  also  the  truth  that  he  serves  God  best 
who  serves  his  fellow  man.  There  is  no  profession,  business  or  vocation 
which  calls  for  greater  sacrifice  or  more  devoted  personal  attention  than 
the  medical  profession.  The  most  successful  physician  is  he  who,  through 
love  of  his  fellow  men,  gives  his  time  and  earnest  attention  to  the  relief 
of  human  suffering.  The  successful  physician  is  bound  to  make  friends 
wherever  he  is  known  and  he  will  retain  the  respect  and  esteem  of  all 
classes  of  people.  Among  the  able  young  physicians  of  Audubon,  this 
county,  is  Dr.  Daniel  Franklin,  a  young  man  who  deserves  great  credit 
for  his  accomplishments. 

Daniel  Franklin,  the  youngest  son  of  Harry  and  Bessie  Franklin,  was 
born  in  Russia  on  July  27,  1893.  His  primary  studies  were  directed  by  a 
private  tutor  and  when  ten  years  of  age  he  entered  the  gymnasium.     After 


four  years  of  study  there  he  came  to  America,  landing  in  New  York  City 
on  December  i,  1907.  Spending  only  a  few  days  in  the  cities  of  New  York 
and  in  Chicago,  he  heeded  the  advice  of  Horace  Greeley,  and  came  west, 
locating  at  Omaha,  Nebraska,  where  he  entered  the  public  schools,  and,  by 
the  diligent  study  of  English,  qualified  himself  for  admittance  to  Creighton 
Medical  College.  During  his  period  of  attendance  at  this  college,  in  order 
to  defray  his  college  expenses,  he  worked  as  chemist  for  a  creamery,  and 
during  the  last  year  of  his  attendance  at  the  medical  school  was  a  resident 
interne  at  the  Omaha  general  hospital.  He  was  graduated  from  the  Creigh- 
ton Medical  College  on  April  30,  19 14,  and  immediately  after  receiving 
his  diploma  came  to  this  county,  locating  in  Audubon  on  May  9th  of  that 
year,  at  once  entering  on  the  active  practice  of  his  profession.  Although 
he  is  a  young  man,  Doctor  Franklin's  practice  is  growing  rapidly,  and,  by 
his  courteous  manners,  his  careful  practice  of  the  ethics  of  his  profession 
and  the  high  standard  of  his  professional  skill,  he  is  fast  gaining  the  confi- 
dence and  respect  of  the  people  of  Audubon  county. 

Doctor  Franklin  is  a  member  of  the  Audubon  County  Medical  Society, 
the  Iowa  State  Medical  Society  and  the  American  Medical  Association,  in 
all  of  which  organizations  he  takes  a  deep  interest.  Fraternally,  the  doctor 
is  a  member  of  the  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons. 

Doctor  Franklin  is  one  of  the  rising  young  physicians  of  Audubon 
county,  and  his  career  forcibly  illustrates  what  can  be  accomplished  by  the 
worthy  sons  of  foreign  countries  who  come  to  our  land,  and  by  persistent 
energy  and  determination  win  merited  success. 


This  country  takes  great  pride  in  the  citizens  of  other  lands  who  have 
come  to  these  shores  and  who,  with  rare  energy,  industry  and  management 
have  built  up  profitable  and  popular  businesses  in  the  various  communities. 
The  career  of  Chris  Olsen,  a  well-known  general  merchant  of  Audubon, 
this  county,  is  worthy  of  being  heralded  to  the  native-born  sons  of  this  land. 
The  story  of  his  life  is  more  like  a  romance  than  a  statement  of  real  fact, 
since  he  has  been  able  since  coming  to  America,  at  the  age  of  sixteen,  to  build 
up  one  of  the  most  prosperous  and  flourishing  enterprises  in  Audubon  county. 
Mr.  Olsen's  success  is  not  a  matter  of  accident.  He  has  given  his  labor 
ungrudgingly  and  deserves  the  large  success  which  he  has  attained. 

Chris  Olsen,  a  well-known  merchant  of  Audubon,  Iowa,  was  born  in 


Denmark  on  October  31,  1872,  the  son  of  Peter  P.  and  Anna  (Christensen) 
Olsen,  farmers  in  their  native  land.  His  father,  who  served  in  the  Danish- 
Prussian  War  of  1864,  died  unexpectedly  in  1895.  The  mother,  who  has  had 
ten  children,  six  of  whom  are  still  living,  is  still  living  in  her  native  land. 
Chris  Olsen  is  the  only  member  of  this  family  living  in  this  country.  He  was 
educated  in  his  native  land  and  after  leaving  school  clerked  in  a  store  for  two 
and  one-half  years.  Coming  to  America  in  1888',  he  located  at  Harlan,  in 
Shelby  county,  Iowa,  and  for  two  years  worked  out  as  a  farm  hand,  attending 
school  in  the  winter.  Coming  to  Audubon  county  at  the  end  of  that  period 
he  worked  as  a  farm  hand  in  Cameron  township  for  a  short  period  and  then 
went  to  Audubon,  where  he  clerked  in  the  general  mercantile  store  of  E. 
Bilhars  &  Sons  for  some  years.  About  1895  ^^^-  Olsen  started  in  business 
in  a  small  way  for  himself.  He  established  a  general  mercantile  store  on  a 
small  scale,  and  has  increased  his  stock  from  time  to  time  as  his  patronage 
has  grown,  until  he  now  has  one  of  the  best  stores  and  perhaps  as  good  a 
stock  of  general  merchandise  as  is  to  be  found  anywhere  in  Audubon  county. 
Mr.  Olsen  handles  a  complete  line  and  today  his  trade  is  larger  and  more 
profitable  than  ever  before. 

In  1902  Chris  Olsen  was  married  to  Marie  Mathisen,  daughter  of  Peter 
and  Sophia  Mathisen,  and  to  this  happy  marriage  have  been  born  four  chil- 
dren, Peter  P.,  Anna  Marie,  George  and  Carl,  all  of  whom  are  living  at  home. 

Mr.  Olsen  affiliates  with  the  Danish  Lutheran  church  and  is  foremost  in 
every  worthy  movement  in  this  county.  In  his  toil  and  struggle  for  success 
he  has  not  overlooked  the  larger  and  greater  purposes  of  life,  but  has  given 
the  attention  of  a  loving  father  to  his  children  and  has  always  been  and  is 
regarded  as  a  good  citizen,  keen  and  alert. 


There  is  nothing  which  stimulates  a  man  to  deeds  of  worth  and  a  life 
of  uprightness  and  rectitude  more  than  the  recollection  of  the  strength  of 
character  and  examples  of  right  living  which  have  been  shown  by  his  forbears. 
In  this  respect  Mr.  Kuhn  is  fortunate  beyond  the  majority  of  men  in  being 
descended  from  forbears  who  were  men  of  strength  and  influence  in  their 
community,  men  who  performed  well  their  duties,  whether  in  the  peaceful 
pursuits  of  ordinary  life  or  in  positions  of  public  trust.  In  the  business 
affairs  of  Audubon,  Iowa,  Jacob  Kuhn.  a  well-known  retired  miller,  has 
always  occupied  a  position  of  importance  among  those  who  have  conserved 
and  promoted  the  commercial  and  industrial  prosperity  of  this  community. 


Pl'1'1   l! 




Jacob  Kuhn  was  born  on  August  31,  1844,  oi'^  ^  farm  near  Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania,  the  son  of  Archy  and  Mary  (King)  Kuhn.  Archy  Kuhn, 
who  was  born  and  died  in  Pennsylvania,  was  the  son  of  Archibald  Kuhn. 
The  family  dates  back  to  the  seventeenth  century  when  a  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Kuhn 
were  among  a  shipload  of  emigrants  captured  by  the  British  and  taken 
into  Port  Derry,  Ireland.  A  son,  Adam,  was  born  in  Derry.  Later  this  ves- 
sel proceeded  to  New  Amsterdam,  but  the  Kuhns  did  not  go.  Adam  became 
a  traveling  merchant  in  Europe.  He  was  the  great-great-grandfather 
of  Jacob  Kuhn,  the  subject  of  this  sketch.  Eventually  he  came  to  New 
Amsterdam,  now  New  York,  and  married  a  Scottish  woman  named  Eve. 
They  went  to  New  Jersey,  where  three  children  were  born,  Mansfield,  Michael 
and  Nicholas,  the  latter  of  whom  was  a  soldier  in  the  Revolutionary  War. 
The  family  eventually  moved  to  the  Wyoming  county  settlement  in  Penn- 
sylvania. At  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  War,  Michael  Kuhn  settled  in 
Patten  township,  Allegheny  county.  Adam  Kuhn  later  went  down  the  Ohio 
ri\er  to  Fishing  creek  and  settled  below  Wheeling,  where  Eve,  his  wife,  was 
killed  by  the  Indians.  Adam  Kuhn  remarried  and  lived  to  be  a  ver}-  old 
man.  His  son  Michael,  the  great-grandfather  of  Jacob  Kuhn,  married 
Catherine  McClarty,  a  daughter  of  Archibald  McClarty,  a  native  of  Scot- 
land, who  settled  on  the  Susquehanna  river  in  the  Wyoming  settlement. 
Michael  Kuhn  and  his  family  had  several  thrilling  experiences  and  he  fought 
in  the  Indian  wars.  He  died  in  1800,  at  the  age  of  seventy-three  years. 
Nicholas  Kuhn  had  no  children.  Mansfield  Kuhn  settled  in  Kentucky. 
Michael  Kuhn  was  born  on  April  5,  1747,  and  died  on  January  30,  1820. 
His  wife.  Catherine  McClarty.  was  born  March  3,  174^,  and  died  July  12, 
1823.  They  had  eight  children,  Eva,  Archibald,  Adam,  Samuel,  John,  Mary, 
David  and  Nancy.  Archibald  Kuhn,  the  grandfather  of  Jacob,  was  born 
on  August  28,  1771,  and  died  on  December  13,  1831.  He  was  married  on 
May  16,  1799.  to  Martha  Stotler,  who  was  born  on  February  7,  1781,  and 
who  died  on  June  17,  1818.  They  were  the  parents  of  Michael,  Jacob,  Nancy, 
Archy.  David,  Catherine,  John  M.  and  William  H.  H.  Archibald  Kuhn  was 
a  member  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature,  1816-1820.  His  son,  Archy 
Kuhn.  the  father  of  Jacob,  was  born  on  September  2,  1805,  and  died  on  De- 
cember II,  1889.  He  married  Mary  (Craig)  King,  who  was  born  on  August 
18,  1812.  and  who  died  on  March  28,  1904.  Their  children  were  as  follow: 
Mrs.  Nancy  D.  McCready,  who  was  born  on  October  22,  1837;  ^^^illiam, 
May  28,  1839,  died  on  January  15,  1863,  a  soldier  in  the  Civil  War,  serving 
in   the    One    Hundred    and    Fifty-fifth    Regiment.    Pennsylvania    A^olunteer 


Infantry,  was  mortally  wounded  at  Fredericksburg  on  December  13,  1862, 
having  been  shot  through  the  right  lung;  Mrs.  Martha  S.  Stotler,  March  6, 
1841,  died  on  March  28,  1897;  Robert,  December  12,  1842,  died  on  Septem- 
ber 28,  1843;  Jacob,  the  subject  of  this  sketch,  was  born  on  August  31,  1844. 
Jacob  Kuhn  was  a  soldier  in  the  Civil  War,  a  member  of  the  Third  Penn- 
sylvania Heavy  Artillery,  Light  Battery  H,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second 
Regiment,  Pennsylvania  Volunteers.  He  was  a  prominent  member  of 
the  Twentieth  Iowa  General  Assembly  in  1884.  The  sixth  child  of  Archy 
and  Mary  (Craig)  Kuhn  was  James  King  Kuhn,  born  on  February  18, 
1846,  and  died  November  17,  1879.  The  other  children  were:  Mrs.  Eliza 
Ann  Dildine,  March  3,  1848;  Mrs.  Susan  Alter,  June  24,  1850;  Mrs.  Mary 
L.  Spraul,  June  2,  1852,  and  David  B.,  June  20,  1855. 

Jacob  Kuhn  was  educated  in  the  common  schools  of  his  native  county 
in  Pennsylvania.  On  February  13,  1864,  he  enlisted  in  Light  Battery  H, 
commonly  called  Rank's  Battery,  and  connected  with  the  Third  Pennsyl- 
vania Heavy  Artillery  and  the  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second  Regiment, 
Pennsylvania  Volunteer  Infantry.  He  served  one  and  one-half  years  and 
was  discharged  at  Philadelphia  on  July  25,  1865.  One  section  of  Battery  H 
was  engaged  in  the  battle  of  Gettysburg.  While  in  the  reserve  artillery  he 
took  part  in  the  battle  of  Monocacy,  near  Frederick  City,  Maryland.  After 
the  war  Mr.  Kuhn  learned  iron  making  in  Pittsburgh  and  worked  there  until 
1868.  In  March  of  that  year  he  came  West  and  located  in  Grove  City,  Cass 
county,  Iowa,  where,  for  the  first  year,  he  followed  carpentry  work.  He 
was  then  married  shortly,  after  which  he  mo\'ed  to  Anita,  Cass  county, 
where  he  resided  for  fifteen  years,  being  engaged  in  carpentering  during 
that  time,  with  the  exception  of  six  years,  during  which  time  he  was  engaged 
in  the  milling  business.  In  1884,  Mr.  Kuhn  located  at  Manning,  in  Car- 
roll county,  this  state,  and  there  engaged  in  the  milling  business  for  six 
years.  He  then  lived  in  Des  Moines  eight  years,  and  was  there  engaged 
in  the  milling  business.  In  1898  he  came  to  this  county,  locating  at  Audu- 
bon, and  there  engaged  in  the  milling  business  for  sixteen  years,  or  until 
October,  1913,  when  he  sold  out  to  his  partner,  A.  S.  Culver,  having  been 
engaged  in  the  milling  business  for  nearly  thirty-six  years,  during  which 
period  he  became  very  wealthy.  Mr.  Kuhn  is  the  owner  of  a  large  ranch 
and  town  property  near  Billings,  Yellow  Stone  county,  Montana,  and  for 
twenty-five  years  has  been  a  stockholder  and  director  in  the  First  National 
Bank  at  Manning. 

On  May  26,  1870,  Jacol)  Kuhn  was  married  to  Minnie  C.  Taylor,  who 
was  born  on  September  20,  1851,  the  daughter  of  William  and  Martha  Tay- 

AUDUBON    COUNTY^    IOWA.  33 1 

lor,  natives  of  Pennsylvania  and  early  settlers  in  Cass  county,  Iowa.  To  this 
happy  union  the  following  children  have  been  born :  Mrs.  Eva  M.  Rey- 
nolds, born  on  July  5,  1871,  died  on  August  31,  1893;  Mrs.  Ada  M.  Wever, 
June  16,  1881,  who,  on  October  24,  1906,  married  George  B.  Wever,  who 
was  born  on  December  27,  1880,  to  which  union  three  children  have  been 
born,  George  Kuhn,  December  i,  1907;  Alice  L.,  August  18,  1910,  and 
Ethel  Mary,  March  i,  191 3;  and  Ethel  L.,  September  13,  1884,  married  on 
June  II,  1914,  Dr.  Charles  Burnside,  who  was  born  and  reared  in  Audubon 
county,  and  who  practises  medicine  at  Los  Angeles,  to  which  union  one 
child  has  been  born,  Harriett  Elizabeth,  born  on  October  13,  1914. 

In  politics  Jacob  Kuhn  is  an  ardent  Republican.  In  1883  he  was  elected 
a  member  of  the  Iowa  Legislature  and  served  in  the  twentieth  General  As- 
sembly. Fraternally,  Mr.  Kuhn  is  a  member  of  Allison  Post,  Grand  Army 
of  the  Republic.  All  of  the  members  of  the  family  attend  the  Presbyterian 


Thomas  E.  Mason,  who,  by  his  own  unaided  efforts,  has  gradually 
worked  his  way  up  from  a  modest  beginning  to  a  position  of  influence  in  the 
community  where  he  lives,  is  a  well-known  photographer  of  Audubon,  this 
county.  His  life  has  been  one  of  unceasing  industry  and  perseverance,  and 
the  systematic  and  honorable  methods  he  has  followed  have  won  for  him  the 
unbounded  confidence  of  his  fellow  citizens  in  Audubon  county,  whose  inter- 
ests he  has  ever  had  at  heart.  As  a  photographer,  Mr.  Mason  is  one  of  the 
best  in  the  county.  He  understands  the  technique  of  his  profession,  and  in  his 
dealings  with  the  public  has  been  especially  fair  and  square.  Although  Mr. 
Mason  has  been  in  Audubon  but  a  few  years,  yet  within  that  time  the  merit 
of  his  work  has  had  a  telling  effect  upon  his  business. 

Thomas  E.  Mason  was  born  in  Jones  county,  Iowa,  on  December  29, 
1868,  a  son  of  William  J.  and  Clemma  (Finch)  Mason,  natives  of  Ohio,  who 
came  west  when  both  were  young  and  settled  in  Jones  county,  Iowa.  They 
were  married  in  Jones  county,  and  lived  there  for  three  years,  at  the  end  of 
which  time  they  moved  to  Cherokee  county,  Iowa,  where  they  are  still 
residing.  William  J.  Mason  is  a  well-known  farmer  of  Cherokee  county, 
having  been  a  farmer  all  his  life.  He  and  his  wife  are  the  parents  of  five 
children:  Thomas  E.,  the  immediate  subject  of  this  brief  review;  Jesse  O., 
of  Jefferson,  Iowa;  May,  the  wife  of  B.  F.  Mason,  of  Meridian,  Iowa;  Hattie, 


the  wife  of  Harry  Phelan,  of  Cherokee,  Iowa,  and  Bessie,  who  is  the  wife  of 
Elmer  Phelan,  of  Aurelia,  Iowa. 

Thomas  E.  Mason  received  his  education  in  the  common  schools  of 
Cherokee  county,  Iowa.  After  leaving  school  he  took  up  farming  and  was 
engaged  in  that  occupation  for  two  years  in  Cherokee  county.  Subsequently 
he  was  engaged  in  the  clothing  business  in  Webster  county,  Iowa,  for  one 
year  and  then  followed  various  pursuits  for  the  next  five  years.  At  the  end 
of  that  time  he  engaged  in  the  business  of  commercial  photography,  and  con- 
tinued in  that  business  at  Jefferson,  Iowa,  until  191 1,  when  he  came  to 
Audubon  county  and  opened  a  photograph  gallery  in  Audubon. 

On  March  7,  1894.  Thomas  E.  Mason  was  married  to  Julia  Swanson, 
the  daughter  of  Swen  Munson.  Her  parents  were  both  natives  of  Sweden, 
but  they  never  came  to  America,  she  having  come  alone  to  the  United  States, 
following,  at  the  age  of  sixteen,  three  sisters  who  had  come  to  this  country, 
one  of  these  sisters  now  being  deceased.  Mr.  Mason  and  wife  are  the  parents 
of  three  children.  Earl,  Blanche  and  Lester,  all  of  whom  are  living  at  home. 

Mr.  Mason  is  a  Republican  in  politics,  but  has  not  taken  an  active  part 
in  political  matters.  He  and  his  wife  are  earnest  and  loyal  members  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  church,  in  which  they  take  an  active  part  and  to  which 
they  are  liberal  contributors.  During  his  residence  in  Audubon,  Mr.  Mason 
has  built  up  a  large  circle  of  friends,  who  are  ardent  admirers  of  him  and  his 
work,  and  he  is  regarded  as  one  of  the  most  popular  and  public-spirited  citi- 
zens of  Audubon. 


This  utilitarian  age  has  been  especially  prolific  of  men  of  action,  men 
of  high  resolves  and  noble  purposes,  who  give  character  and  stability  to  the 
communities  honored  by  their  citizenship,  and  whose  influence  and  leadership 
are  easily  discernible  in  the  various  enterprises  that  have  added  so  greatly  to 
the  reputation  which  Audubon  county  enjoys  among  her  sister  counties  of 
this  great  commonwealth.  Conspicuous  among  this  class  of  men  in  Audubon 
county  is  Arthur  Farquhar,  former  county  superintendent  of  schools  of 
Audubon  county,  and  at  present  a  well-known  business  man  of  Audubon, 
who  is  engaged  in  the  life  insurance  business. 

Arthur  Farquhar  was  born  on  March  2"/,  1868,  in  Knox  county.  Ohio, 
a  son  of  F.  P.  and  Lucena  L.  (Bagly)  Farquhar.  both  natives  of  Ohio. 
Lucena  L.  Bagly  came  to  Iowa  in  1837  with  her  parents,  who  located  at  West 


Liberty,  her  father  homesteading  the  land  where  the  town  of  West  Lib- 
now  stands.  Mr.  Farqiihar's  father  came  to  Iowa  and  settled  at  West  Lib- 
erty, where  he  met  and  married  Lucena  Bagly.  After  living  in  Iowa  for  some 
years  they  returned  to  Ohio,  where  they  lived  until  1873,  in  which  year  they 
returned  to  West  Liberty,  where  they  remained  until  they  came  to  /Vudubon 
county  in  1886,  and  here  they  spent  the  remainder  of  their  lives.  They  were 
the  parents  of  eight  children,  namely:  Ada,  deceased;  Ella,  who  is  living  in 
Audubon;  Horace,  who  lives  at  Lincoln,  Nebraska;  George,  who  lives  at 
Villisca,  Iowa;  Fred,  who  is  a  resident  of  Winterset,  Iowa;  May,  living  at 
Audubon;  Arthur,  the  immediate  subject  of  this  review,  and  Mary,  deceased. 
Three  of  these  children  were  born  in  this  state  and  four  after  the  family's 
return  to  Ohio,  and  the  youngest  was  born  after  the  return  to  Iowa.  F.  P. 
Farquhar  was  born  and  raised  a  member  of  the  Quaker  church. 

Arthur  Farquhar  received  his  early  education  in  the  common  schools  of 
Muscatine  county,  this  state.  He  same  with  his  parents  to  Audubon  county 
in  1886  and  taught  school  here  for  ten  years.  In  1899  he  was  elected  county 
superintendent  of  schools  and  served  in  that  capacity  for  seven  years,  or  until 
1907.  After  retiring  from  the  office  of  county  superintendent,  Mr.  Farquhar 
opened  a  life  insurance  agency,  and  is  still  a  general  agent  in  nine  counties 
for  the  Register  Life  Insurance  Company,  of  Davenport,  Iowa.  During  the 
time  he  was  engaged  in  teaching  school,  Mr.  Farquhar  occupied  his  summers 
in  farming,  and  in  1891  bought  a  farm  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres  in 
Melville  township,  which  he  still  owns. 

On  January  17,  1892,  Arthur  Farquhar  was  married  to  Nellie  Leach, 
the  daughter  of  James  and  Mary  (Dean)  Leach,  natives  of  England,  who 
came  to  this  country  and  located  in  South  Dakota,  where  they  spent  the  rest 
of  their  lives.  Mrs.  Farquhar  came  to  Audubon  county  in  1881,  and  made 
her  home  with  her  sister,  Mrs.  James  Hunt,  until  the  time  of  her  marriage. 
To  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Farquhar  two  children  have  been  born,  Aubrey  L.,  deceased, 
and  Wynona  L.,  who  is  living  at  home  with  her  parents. 

For  many  years,  Arthur  Farquhar  has  been  prominent  in  the  councils  of 
the  Republican  party,  and  for  the  past  eight  years  has  served  as  chairman  of 
the  Republican  central  committee  of  Audubon  county.  He  is  a  member  of  the 
Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons  and  belongs  to  the  chapter  and  the  com- 
mandery  at  Audubon.  He  is  also  a  member  of  the  Knights  of  Pythias.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Farquhar  attend  the  services  of  the  Presbyterian  church,  although 
neither  is  a  member  of  any  church. 

Arthur  Farquhar,  by  virtue  of  his  long  service  as  county  superintendent 
of  schools  and  by  virtue  of  his  present  business  as  well  as  his  activity  as  chair- 


man  of  the  central  committee  of  the  Repubhcan  party  of  Audubon  county,  is 
well  known  in  this  section  of  the  state.  He  is  an  enterprising  and  progressive 
citizen  and  entitled  to  rank  among  the  leading  men  of  his  county. 


It  is  the  progressive,  wide-awake  man  of  affairs  who  makes  the  real 
history  of  a  community.  His  influence  as  a  potential  factor  in  the  body 
politic  is  difficult  to  estimate.  The  example  such  men  furnish  of  patient  pur- 
pose and  steadfast  integrity  strongly  illustrate  what  is  in  the  power  of  each 
to  accomplish.  There  is  always  a  full  measure  of  satisfaction  in  adverting 
even  in  a  casual  way  to  their  achievements  in  advancing  the  interests  of  their 
fellow  men  and  in  giving  strength  and  solidity  to  the  institutions  which  make 
so  much  for  the  prosperity  of  the  community.  Such  a  man  is  Evans  Mar- 
quesen,  a  well-known  merchant  of  Audubon,  this  county.  As  such  it  is 
proper  that  a  review  of  his  career  be  accorded  a  place  among  these  biographi- 
cal sketches  of  many  other  representative  citizens,  of  the  city  and  county 
where  he  has  lived  for  so  many  years. 

Evans  Marquesen  was  born  on  September  3,  1884,  in  Audubon,  Iowa, 
the  son  of  Hans  and  Laura  (Peterson)  Marquesen,  the  former  of  whom  was 
born  in  Denmark  on  November  12,  1855,  the  son  of  Jens  Marquesen,  born 
on  November  12,  1830.  Jens  Marquesen  came  to  America  in  1862  and 
located  in  Washington  Island,  Wisconsin,  where  he  engaged  in  farming. 
He  came  to  Audubon  county  in  1876  and  located  in  Sharon  township,  where 
he  lived  for  years,  but  now  resides  in  Elkhorn.  Jens  Marquesen  and  wife 
had  three  children,  Hans,  Mrs.  Julia  Gray,  of  St.  Louis,  and  Laura,  the 
wife  of  Jacob  Esbeck,  of  Elkhorn.  Hans  Marquesen  was  employed  in  Glea- 
son's  store  in  Audubon  for  one  year  and  then  engaged  in  the  lumber  business 
for  nine  years,  subsequently  moving  to  Kimballton.  where  he  engaged  in  the 
general  mercantile  business  for  twelve  years.  After  a  short  time  spent  in 
Exira  he  then  moved  to  a  farm  east  of  Exira,  in  Audubon  township,  and 
lived  there  for  five  years,  after  which,  for  four  years,  he  engaged  in  the 
general  mercantile  business  in  Exira.  In  1908  he  removed  to  Elkhorn  and 
engaged  in  the  general  mercantile  business.  To  Hans  and  Laura  (Peterson) 
Marquesen  were  born  three  sons  and  eight  daughters,  namely :  Evans,  the 
subject  of  this  sketch ;  Edmond,  a  merchant  at  Avoca ;  Storm,  who  lives  with 
his  father;  Pearl,  who  also  is  at  home;  Olga,  who  married  Thomas  Olsen,. 


and  lives  on  a  farm  in  Hamlin  township ;  Myrtle,  who  married  James  Heinick, 
of  Hamlin  township;  Gudrun,  who  married  Harry  Larson,  near  Elkhorn, 
and  Hansie,  Frances,  Katherine  and  Gladys,  who  are  at  home. 

Evans  Marqiiesen  was  educated  in  the  Audubon  public  schools  and  at 
Exira.  He  engaged  with  his  father  in  the  general  mercantile  business  and  was 
with  him  for  four  years.  After  his  marriage,  in  1906,  he  moved  to  a  farm 
near  Brayton,  owned  by  his  father-in-law,  and  for  five  years  operated  this 
farm.  In  19 14  Mr.  Marquesen  moved  to  Audubon,  where  he  engaged  in  the 
mercantile  business,  in  partnership  with  M.  J.  Frabicuis,  and  on  the  first  of 
October,  that  year,  purchased  the  entire  business  and  now  has  the  largest 
storeroom  in  the  city,  eighty- four  by  sixty  feet  and  containing  two  floors, 
lighted  by  the  company's  own  gas  plant.  Mr.  Marquesen  carries  a  general 
stock  of  merchandise  and  the  stock  is  arranged  under  the  departmental  plan. 
Mr.  Marquesen  employs  nine  assistants,  six  women  and  three  men,  and 
carries  a  thirty-five  thousand-dollar  stock. 

On  January  i,  1906,  Evans  Marquesen  was  married  to  Christine  Nelson, 
daughter  of  L.  P.  Nelson,  of  Oakfield  township.  L.  P.  Nelson  is  a  native  of 
Denmark,  who  came  to  America  in  1869,  and  lived  in  Minnesota  until  1877, 
in  which  year  he  came  to  Audubon  county.  Not  long  ago  Mr.  Nelson  dis- 
tributed ten  farms  among  his  ten  children,  this  distribution  being  made  at  a 
Thanksgiving  Day  family  reunion  at  his  farm  home  near  Lorah.  The  ten 
children  made  their  own  selection  of  the  farms,  at  the  suggestion  of  their 
father,  each  one  selecting  the  place  which  he  or  she  thought  more  nearly  met 
with  his  or  her  ideal  of  a  farm.  The  distribution  was  happily  made.  The  ten 
children  had  planned  an  elaborate  surprise  for  their  father,  which  took  the 
form  of  a  reception  to  his  daughter,  Mrs.  Harry  Traum,  and  husband,  but 
recently  married.  Mr.  Nelson,  upon  coming  to  this  country,  first  settled  in 
La  Crosse,  Wisconsin.  He  came  to  Iowa  by  the  first  passenger  train  that 
came  over  the  Rock  Island  railroad  from  Des  Moines  to  Atlantic.  Mr.  Nelson 
settled  eight  miles  north  of  Atlantic,  where  the  surrounding  country  was  all 
open  prairie,  with  but  one  or  two  houses  between  his  home  and  Atlantic, 
and  by  enduring  all  the  discomforts  of  the  early  pioneer,  by  unceasing  indus- 
try and  by  the  highest  integrity  and  the  exercise  of  shrewd  business  judg- 
ment, accumulated  one  of  the  largest  estates  in  this  part  of  the  state.  Mr. 
Nelson's  children  are  as  follow :  Gilbert  P.  Nelson,  of  Exira ;  John  C.  and 
Edward  M.  Nelson,  of  Brayton;  A.  A.  Nelson  and  Mrs.  Harry  Traum, 
living  north  of  Atlantic;  J.  A.  Nelson,  south  of  Atlantic;  Mrs.  Evans  Mar- 
quesen ;  and  the  Misses  Rose  and  Martha  Nelson,  all  of  Audubon,  and  L.  A. 
Nelson,  Jr.,  of -Atlantic. 


To  Evans  and  Christine  (Nelson)  Marpuesen  four  children  have  been 
born,  namely:  LaRue,  born  on  November  15,  1907;  LaVonne,  November  4, 
1910;  Thelma,  June  22,  1912,  and  Dale,  September  13,  1913. 

Although  a  comparatively  young  man,  Mr.  Marquesen  has  made  a  splen- 
did start  in  life.  He  has  attended  strictly  to  his  own  business  and  has  never 
found  time  for  activity  in  politics,  although  he  is  identified  with  the  Demo- 
cratic party.  He  and  his  wife  are  members  of  the  Presbyterian  church  and 
are  earnestly  interested  in  all  good  works  hereabout,  being  held  in  the  highest 
esteem  bv  all  who  know  them. 


The  life  of  the  physician  and  public-spirited  man  of  affairs,  whose  name 
appears  above,  affords  a  striking  example  of  well-defined  purpose.  Dr. 
Alfred  Brooks  is  also  possessed  of  a  purpose  to  make  his  ability  serve  not 
only  his  own  ends,  but  the  ends  of  his  fellow  men  as  well.  He  has  built  up 
for  himself  a  distinct  position  in  the  medical  profession,  a  vocation  which 
requires  for  its  basis  sound  mentality  and  intellectual  discipline  of  a  high 

Alfred  L.  Brooks  was  born  on  June  6,  1858,  at  Vinton,  Iowa,  the  son 
of  Lorenzo  and  Jane  (Peace)  Brooks,  natives  of  New  York  state.  Lorenzo 
Brooks  was  born  in  1821  and  died  in  1901.  He  was  a  farmer  by  vocation, 
who  came  to  Iowa  in  1854  and  settled  in  Benton  county,  where  he  spent  the 
remainder  of  his  life.  His  wife  was  born  in  1823  and  died  in  1903.  They 
had  five  children,  two  of  whom  are  living.  Dr.  Alfred  L.,  the  subject  of  this 
sketch,  and  C.  B.,  who  lives  in  Iowa  City. 

Dr.  Alfred  L.  Broooks  is  self-made  and  self-educated  and  deserves  a 
great  deal  of  credit  for  his  achievements  in  the  world.  He  received  his  ele- 
mentary education  in  the  common  schools  and  subsequently,  attended  the 
Blairstown  Academy.  After  this  he  taught  school  and  worked  on  the  farm 
during  vacations,  later  taking  up  the  study  of  medicine,  and  was  graduated 
from  Rush  Medical  College,  at  Chicago,  with  the  class  of  1883.  Upon  re- 
ceiving his  diploma.  Doctor  Brooks  commenced  to  practice  his  profession  at 
Gray,  in  Audubon  county,  and  was  there  for  five  years,  at  the  end  of  which 
time,  in  1888,  he  moved  to  Audubon  and  has  there  built  up  an  excellent 
practice.  Doctor  Brooks  is  a  member  of  the  Audubon  County  Medical 
Society,  the  Iowa  State  Medical  Society  and  the  American  Medical  Associa- 



tion,  and  is  active  in  all  of  these  bodies.  He  is  also  a  member  of  the  Inter- 
national Association  of  Railway  Surgeons,  having  been  appointed  some 
years  ago  as  surgeon  for  the  Northwestern  Railroad. 

Dr.  Alfred  L.  Brooks  was  married  in  1887  to  May  Langworth,  who 
died  in  1898,  leaving  one  child,  Lucile,  who  married  Dr.  W.  E.  Kimbell,  of 
Des  Moines,  Iowa,  to  which  union  has  been  born  one  son,  William  Brooks, 
On  June  20,  1901,  Doctor  Brooks  married,  secondly,  Caldona  Young,  of 
Grand  Junction,  Iowa,  to  which  union  two  children  have  been  born,  Emmett 
F.  and  Jane  C. 

Doctor  Brooks  is  identified  with  the  Republican  party  and  has  served 
as  coroner  of  Audubon  county  for  three  terms,  his  first  service  in  this 
capacity  having  begun  in-  the  eighties.  In  1890,  Doctor  Brooks  was  elected 
to  the  twenty-fourth  Iowa  General  Assembly  and  served  during  the  session 
of  1 89 1,  filling  places  on  many  important  committees  and  assisting  materially 
in  passing  much  important  legislation.  Fraternally,  Doctor  Brooks  is  a 
member  of  the  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted  Masons  and  is  a  member  of  the 
Knights  Templar  and  the  Mystic  Shrine  at  Des  Moines.  He  is  also  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Knights  of  Pythias.  Doctor  Brooks  and  family  are  members  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  church. 


Success  in  what  are  popularly  termed  the  learned  professions,  is  a  legiti- 
mate result  of  merit  and  painstaking  endeavor.  In  commercial  life,  one  may 
come  into  possession  of  a  lucrative  business  through  inheritance  or  gift,  but 
professional  advancement  is  gained  only  by  critical  study  and  consecutive 
research,  long  continued.  Proper  intellectual  discipline,  thorough  profes- 
sional knowledge  and  the  possession  and  utilization  of  those  qualities  and 
attributes  essential  to  success  have  made  Dr.  John  Kirkwood  Donaldson  one 
of  the  leading  dentists  of  Audubon  county.  Though  Doctor  Donaldson  is  a 
comparatively  young  man,  he  is  widely  known  for  the  high  standard  of  his 
professional  attainments  and  since  establishing  himself  at  Audubon  has  built 
up  an  extensive  and  lucrative  practice  in  his  profession. 

John  Kirkwood  Donaldson  was  born  on  July  28,  1885,  on  a  farm  in 
Audubon  township,  Audubon  county,  Iowa,  the  son  of  Orlando  Chester  and 
lantha  (Rutan)  Donaldson,,  natives  of  Johnson  county,  Iowa.  Orlando 
(22)   ■ 


Chester  Donaldson  was  born  in  1845,  ^he  son  of  James  and  Jane  Donaldson, 
natives  of  Pennsylvania,  who  were  early  settlers  in  Johnson  county,  this  state, 
lantha  Rutan  was  born  in  Johnson  county  in  1841,  the  daughter  of  early 
settlers  and  pioneers  in  Johnson  county,  her  mother  having  been  a  sister  of 
the  wife  of  Governor  Kirkwood,  Iowa's  war  governor.  Mrs.  Kirkwood 
is  still  living  (1915),  at  Iowa  City,  at  the  age  of  ninety-seven,  and 
is  quite  hearty.  Orlando  C.  Donaldson  and  lantha  Rutan  were  married  in 
Johnson  county  and  came  to  Audubon  county  in  1878,  settling  in  Audubon 
township.  Orlando  C.  Donaldson  served  as  county  recorder  of  Audubon 
county  from  1900  to  1905,  during  which  period  he  resided  in 
Audubon.  From  Audubon  he  moved  to  Shenandoah  and  there  was  engaged 
in  the  clothing  business.  One  year  later  he  engaged  in  the  general  mercantile 
business  at  Defiance,  Iowa,  and  after  being  in  business  there  for  two  years, 
removed  to  Exira  township,  this  county,  where  he  lived  on  a  farm  for  one 
year,  at  the  end  of  which  time  he  moved  to  a  farm  near  ^Manchester,  where 
he  is  now  living. 

To  Orlando  Chester  and  lantha  ( Rutan)  Donaldson  six  children  were 
born,  two  daughters  and  four  sons,  namely :  Elverton  Orlando,  who  lives  at 
Defiance,  Iowa,  where  he  is  owner  of  the  gas  plant;  Wesley  Samuel,  a 
mechanic,  who  lives  at  Exira.  where  he  is  proprietor  of  the  Ford  garage; 
Mrs.  Janette  Burbridge,  who  lives  at  Palo  Alto,  California,  and  whose  hus- 
band is  an  instructor  in  Leland  Stanford,  Jr.,  University;  Dr.  John  Kirk- 
wood, the  subject  of  this  sketch;  James  William,  of  Palo  Alto,  California, 
who  is  in  the  motorcycle  business,  and  Clara  Belle,  who  married  Ray  Zollin- 
ger, a  ranchman  of  Montana. 

John  Kirkwood  Donaldson  was  graduated  from  the  Audubon  high 
school,  after  which  he  attended  the  Northwestern  University  Dental  School, 
graduating  with  the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Dental  Surgery  in  19 10,  immediately 
after  which  time  he  began  the  practice  of  his  profession  in  Audubon  and 
during  the  years  in  which  he  has  been  engaged  in  practice  has  made  rapid 

Doctor  Donaldson  is  a  member  of  the  Ancient  Free  and  Accepted 
Masons,  having  attained  to  the  chapter  in  that  order,  and  is  also  a  member 
of  the  Modern  Woodmen  of  America.  While  at  Northwestern  University, 
Doctor  Donaldson  was  a  member  of  the  Delta  Sigma  Delta,  the  popular 
dental  fraternity.  He  is  identified  with  the  Presbyterian  church,  and.  politi- 
cally, classes  himself  as  an  independent  Republican,  being  independent  in 
local  politics,  but  supporting  Republican  principles  and  Republican  candidates 
in  national  politics. 



It  is  a  well-attested  maxim  that  the  greatness  of  a  community  or  state 
lies  not  in  the  machinery  of  government,  nor  even  in  its  institutions ;  but  rather 
in  the  sterling  qualities  of  the  individual  citizen,  in  his  capacity  for  high  and 
unselfish  effort  and  in  his  devotion  to  the  public  welfare.  In  these  particulars 
Russell  J.  Loveland,  one  of  the  partners  in  the  Audubon  Canning  Company, 
has  conferred  honor  and  dignity  upon  his  locality  by  his  persevering  and 
close  application  to  his  business,  and  it  is  fitting  that  there  should  be  recorded 
in  this  volume  a  brief  resume  of  his  career,  with  the  object  of  noting  his 
connection  with  the  advancement  of  this  flourishing  and  progressive  section 
of  the  Hawkeye  commonwealth.  As  one  of  the  partners  in  the  Audubon 
Canning  Company,  Mr.  Loveland  has  built  up  a  large  and  lucrative  business, 
this  being  one  of  the  large  commercial  enterprises  in  the  city  of  Audubon, 
enjoying  the  liberal  support  of  the  people  of  Audubon  county. 

Russell  James  Loveland  was  born  on  January  lo,  1875,  in  New  York 
state,  a  son  of  James  H.  and  Catherine  (Dickson)  Loveland,  the  former  a 
native  of  New  York,  and  the  latter  a  native  of  Canada.  They  were  married 
in  New  York  state  and  are  still  living  there.  James  H.  Loveland  has  been  a 
farmer  all  his  life,  and  has  been  unusually  prosperous  and  successful  in  his 
chosen  vocation.  He  and  his  wife  are  the  parents  of  eight  children,  Minnie 
A.,  Josephine  M.,  Russell  J.,  Adelber  F.,  Howard  R.,  Elizabeth  E.,  Grace  F. 
and  Chester. 

Russell  James  Loveland  was  educated  in  the  public  schools  of  his  native 
state  of  New  York,  and  after  finishing  the  course  in  the  common  schools, 
entered  the  academy  at  Utica,  New  York,  where  he  further  pursued  his 
educational  training.  After  leaving  school  Mr.  Loveland  took  up  the  canning 
business  in  Iowa,  Indiana  and  Ohio,  and  has  been  engaged  in  this  line  for  the 
past  seventeen  years,  during  the  last  five  years  of  which  time  he  has  been 
located  in  Audubon,  Iowa.  The  firm  with  which  Mr.  Loveland  is  connected 
is  known  as  the  Audubon  Canning  Company.  It  is  a  partnership,  Mr.  Love- 
land holding  an  equal  interest  in  the  company  with  Charles  Van  Garder. 

On  July  16,  1907,  Russell  James  Loveland  was  married  to  Edith  L. 
Denslow,  the  daughter  of  L.  S.  and  Sarah  (Benton)  Denslow,  both  of  whom 
are  natives  of  Utica,  New  York,  and  are  still  residing  in  that  city.  Mrs. 
Loveland  was  born  in  Utica  and  was  there  married  to  Mr.  Loveland.  To  this 
union  three  children  have  been  born,  Ford  Dickson,  Katherine  Mabel  and 
Russell  James,  Jr.  ' 

The  canning  factorv  in  which  Mr.  Loveland  is  interested  has  a  capacity 


of  one  and  one-fourth  million  cans  annually.  The  output  is  sold  largely  in 
the  west.  The  company  cans  all  kinds  of  vegetables  and  fruit,  and  its  brand 
is  well  known  throughout  the  section  of  the  countr}^  in  which  its  sales  have 
been  made. 

Mr.  Loveland  is  not  a  member  of  any  lodge,  but  has  devoted  his  time 
rather  to  his  business,  to  his  home  and  to  his  family,  being  a  man  of  decided 
domestic  inclinations.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Loveland  and  family  are  members  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  church.  Mr.  Loveland  is  a  Republican,  but  he  is 
not  active  in  politics  and  has  never  held  office  nor  cared  to  do  so. 


The  best  history  of  a  community  or  state  is  that  which  deals  most  with 
the  lives  and  activities  of  its  people,  especialty  of  those  who  by  their  own 
endeavors  and  indomitable  energy  have  forged  to  the  front  and  placed 
themselves  in  positions  entitling  them  to  the  respect  and  emulation  of  pro- 
gressive men.  In  this  brief  review  will  be  found  the  record  of  one  who 
has  outstripped  the  less  active  plodders  on  the  highway  of  life  and  who  has 
achieved  a  success  surpassed  by  few  of  his  immediate  contemporaries,  his 
career  in  agricultural  affairs  having  earned  him  a  name  which  all  men  who 
know  him  delight  to  honor,  on  account  of  his  upright  life  and  his  habits 
of  thrift  and  industry. 

William  Layland,  a  well-known  retired  farmer  of  Audubon,  who  came 
to  this  county  in  1880,  was  born  on  March  18,  1854,  in  Holmes  county,  Ohio, 
the  son  of  William  and  Nancy  (Crozier)  Layland,  natives  of  Ohio.  William 
Layland  died  in  Ohio  in  1861  and  his  widow  died  in  Iowa  county,  Iowa, 
about  1886.  They  were  the  parents  of  seven  children,  namely:  Mrs.  Sarah 
Givin,  deceased;  Mrs.  Ehzabeth  Williams,  of  Ohio;  Mrs.  Margaret  Gilmore, 
of  Ohio;  Mrs.  Mary  Tealond,  of  Ohio,  who  died  in  1912;  William,  the  sub- 
ject of  this  sketch;  Isaac,  who  died  in  this  county,  and  Jacob,  who  lives  two 
miles  south  of  Audubon. 

In  1869  the  Layland  family  left  Holmes  county,  Ohio,  and  settled  in 
Iowa  county,  this  state,  where  William  Layland  finished  his  schooling,  he 
having  been  but  fifteen  years  of  age  when  he  came  to  Iowa.  After  his  mar- 
riage William  Layland  began  farming  in  Iowa  county  and  in  1880  came  to 
Audubon  county,  settling  in  Hamilton  township,  where  he  bought  sixty  or 
seventy  acres  of  wholly  unimproved  land,  at  nine  dollars  an  acre.     Mr.  Lay- 

AUDUBON    COUNTY,    IOWA.  34 1 

land  put  up  a  small  two-room  house,  twenty  by  fourteen  feet,  living  in  the 
barn  for  six  weeks  while  building  the  house,  all  the  work  on  which  was  done 
by  himself.  He  lived  on  that  place  for  five  years  and  then  rented  the  farm 
and  returned  to  Iowa  county,  where  he  spent  one  year.  Two  years  later  he 
sold  the  farm  for  twenty-four  dollars  an  acre  and  bought  one  hundred  and 
sixty  acres  in  Sharon  township,  for  eighteen  dollars  an  acre.  One  year  later 
he  rented  this  land  for  four  years  and  then  sold  it.  He  then  moved  to  the 
Kibby  farm,  on  which  he  lived  for  one  year,  at  the  end  of  which  time  he 
purchased  a  farm  of  eighty  acres  in  Leroy  township,  on  which  he  lived  for 
many  years,  making  many  changes  and  improvements  on  it.  Later  Mr.  Lay- 
land  purchased  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  in  Audubon  township  and  lived 
on  this  latter  farm  for  one  year.  He  next  bought  one  hundred  and  sixty 
acres  in  Hamlin  township,  improved  the  farm,  rented  it  out  and  finally  sold 
it.  In  the  spring  of  1896  Mr.  Layland  moved  to  Exira  and  in  the  fall  of  that 
year  bought  property  in  Audubon  and  has  since  resided  in  that  city.  He  is 
the  owner  of  two  farms,  totalling  two  hundred  and  thirty-six  acres,  including 
one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  east  of  Audubon  and  nearly  eighty  acres  near 
Casey,  in  Guthrie  county.  For  many  years  Mr.  Layland  has  been  a  breeder 
of  heavy  draft  horses,  and  until  recently  was  very  active  in  that  line,  having 
been  quite  extensively  engaged  as  a  buyer  and  seller  of  horses. 

William  Layland  was  married  on  December  27,  1891,  to  Mary  Elizabeth 
Riley,  who  was  born  in  Newark,  New  Jersey,  on  May  16,  1856,  the  daughter 
of  John  and  Catherine  (McCann)  Riley,  natives  of  Ireland,  who  came  to 
America,  with  their  first  child,  about  1846.  In  1863  John  Riley  settled  on  a 
farm  at  the  end  of  the  railroad  in  Iowa  county,  this  state.  He  rented  land 
for  some  years,  but  subsequently  bought  a  farm  and  in  old  age  retired  to 
Victor,  Iowa,  where  he  died  in  1896,  his  widow  surviving  him  ten  years,  her 
death  not  occurring  until  1906.  They  were  the  parents  of  the  following 
children:  Mary,  who  died  in  infancy;  Rose,  who  died  at  the  age  of  two; 
John,  who  died  at  the  age  of  forty-five ;  Mrs.  Catherine  Gannon,  of  Victor, 
Iowa;  Mary  Elizabeth,  who  married  Mr.  Layland;  James  E.,  who  lives  in 
Sioux  City,  and  Patrick,  who  lives  in  Victor,  this  state. 

To  William  and  Mary  E.  (Riley)  Layland  four  children  have  been  born, 
an  infant,  who  died  at  birth,  Charles,  Cora  and  May.  Charles,  who  was 
born  on  April  27,  1877,  married  Alice  Moon,  to  which  union  four  children 
have  been  born,  as  follow:  Evelyn,  born  on  October  10.  1902;  William, 
November  8,  1903;  Genevieve,  June,  1908,  and  Margaret  Fay,  April  27.  191 1. 
Cora,  born  on  July  8,  1881,  is  the  wife  of  Charles  Elliot,  of  Creston,  Iowa, 
and  has  one  child,  John  Calvert.     May,  born  on  November  9,   1885,  is  the 


wife  of  Frank  Sampson,  and  has  one  child,  Mary  Louise,  who  was  born  on 

May  lo,  1911. 

Wilham  Layland  for  years  has  been  identified  with  the  fortunes  of  the 
Democratic  party,  but  he  has  never  been  active  in  its  councils  and  has  never 
been  a  candidate  for  office.  He  and  his  wife  are  members  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  church  and  their  children  were  reared  in  that  faith,  all  adhering 
to  the  same,  the  family  being  highly  respected  throughout  the  county. 


The  career  of  Hiram  Mendenhall  has  been  a  strenuous  and  varied  one, 
entitling  him  to  honorable  mention  among  the  representative  citizens  of  his 
day  and  generation  in  the  county  with  which  his  life  is  so  closely  identified. 
Although  his  life  record  is  chiefly  written  and  the  period  of  his  active  career  is 
nearing  a  close,  Mr.  Mendenhall,  as  an  inventor,  is  known  to  countless  thou- 
sands throughout  this  country,  the  story  of  his  successs  reading  more  like  a 
romance  than  a  statement  of  facts.  Mr.  Alendenhall  is  one  of  the  wealthiest 
men  in  this  section  of  Iowa  and  he  has  done  what  few  men  are  able  to  do, 
make  an  inventive  turn  of  mind  pay  handsome  royalties.  His  success  may  be 
attributed  to  his  ability  to  discern  what  things  were  most  needed  and  he  has 
been  possessed  of  the  mechanical  genius  to  turn  out  those  devices.  Through- 
out the  many  years  of  his  active  career  he  has  applied  himself  diligently  to 
his  business  interests  and  is  one  of  the  best-known  and  most  highly  respected 
citizens  in  this  section  of  Iowa.  Hiram  Mendenhall  owns  a  whole  city  block 
in  the  city  of  Audubon  and  two  hundred  acres  of  land  in  Douglas  township 
and  has  spent  fifteen  thousand  dollars  in  improving  his  two  farms. 

In  1886  Hiram  Mendenhall  patented  and  sold  the  Mendenhall  hog  trough, 
of  which  he  sold  thousands  of  dollars'  worth.  Later  he  patented  the  gravity 
lock  and  is  one  of  the  patentees  of  the  Boss  hog  trough  and  the  Daisy  hog 
trough.  He  is  the  patentee  of  the  Dandy  pig  taker  and  the  owner  of  the  Boss 
pig  taker  and  has  shipped  his  products  to  Central  America  and  throughout 
Canada.  Mr.  Mendenhall  was  one  of  the  patentees  of  the  One-Minute  wash- 
ing-machine. There  are  at  the  present  time  twelve  different  companies  pay- 
ing him  royalties  on  the  manufacture  of  this  machine.  The  first  company 
which  began  manufacturing  the  One-Minute  washing-machine  paid  ]\Ir.  Men- 
denhall over  thirty-five  thousand  dollars  in  four  years  and  this  was  only  one- 
half  of  the  royalty  paid  by  that  company.     Mr.  Mendenhall  is  secretarv  and 


treasurer  of  the  Iowa  Washing-Machine  Company,  which  controls  the  patents 
which  pay  Mr.  Mendenhall  his  royalties.  He  has  recently  patented  an  ironing 
board  which  he  expects  soon  to  market.  This  last  device  he  has  promoted  in 
company  with  his  son-in-law,  Albert  Killinger.  Mr.  Mendenhall  also  has 
pending  a  patent  for  a  folding  workbench,  which  he  expects  to  put  on  the 
market  very  soon. 

Hiram  Mendenhall  was  born  in  Randolph  county,  Indiana,  on  August  2, 
1848,  the  son  of  Nathan  and  Mary  (Beach)  Alendenhall,  natives,  respectively, 
of  Clinton  county,  Ohio,  and  of  New  York  state,  who  were  married  in  Ohio 
and  from  that  state  moved  to  Indiana,  where  they  spent  the  remainder  of 
their  lives.  Nathan  Mendenhall  was  a  farmer  and  miller  and  died  on  April 
27,  1861,  at  the  age  of  fifty-two.  At  the  time  of  his  death  he  was  the  owner 
of  two  hundred  and  forty  acres  of  land  in  this  county  and  two  hundred  acres 
in  Dallas  county,  this  state.  Nathan  Mendenhall's  first  wife  was  accidentally 
killed  in  1858,  whereupon  he  married  again.  By  the  first  marriage  he  was 
the  father  of  ten  children  and  one  by  the  second,  the  children  of  the  first  mar- 
riage being  Thomas,  Hannah,  Amanda,  Elizabeth,  Benjamin,  Nathan,  John, 
Hiram,  George  and  Timothy,  of  whom  Thomas,  Hannah,  Amanda,  George 
and  Timothy  are  deceased.     The  child  by  his  second  marriage  was  Rebecca. 

Hiram  Mendenhall  was  educated  in  the  common  schools  of  Indiana  and 
Iowa.  He  began  working  out  by  the  month  when  he  was  thirteen  years  old 
and  has  been  an  industrious  worker  ever  since.  He  took  up  farming  early 
in  life  and  has  been  active  during  the  entire  period  of  his  life.  He  is  an 
extensive  breeder  of  Poland-China  hogs,  having  been  active  in  the  hog  busi- 
ness since  he  was  eighteen  years  of  age.  Mr.  Mendenhall  came  to  Audubon 
county  in  1877  and  has  been  here  since  that  time.  The  first  spring  Mr.  Men- 
denhall spent  in  this  county  he  had  his  corn  in  bv  the  nth  of  May.  On  that 
date  six  inches  of  snow  fell  and  froze  so  hard  that  for  three  days  Mr.  Men- 
denhall could  not  take  out  a  team. 

On  October  zy,  1872,  Hiram  Mendenhall  was  married  to  Angeline  John- 
son, who  was  born  in  Indiana,  her  parents  having  been  natives  of  Ohio,  and 
to  this  union  five  children  have  been  born.  Rosa,  Nora,  Alda  B.,  Hiram, 
George  and  Myrtle.  Rosa  married  William  Brockway,  a  carpenter  and 
painter,  of  Audubon,  and  has  four  children,  Lawrence,  Mabel,  Hiram  G.  and 
Kenneth.  Nora  married  Thomas  Sw^ezey,  a  livery  man  of  Audubon,  and  has 
six  children,  Leola,  Dollie,  Wa3me,  Wilma,  Wyman  and  Thelma,  the  last 
three  named  being  triplets.  Alda  B.,  who  lives  in  Douglass  township,  mar- 
ried Maude  Burkey  and  has  two  children,  Margarette  and  Frederick.  Hiram 
George  married  Alta  Berger  and  has  four  children,  Lester,  Pearl,  James  and 


Olivine.     Myrtle  married  Albert  Killinger  and  has  three  children,  Albert  M., 
Velma  and  Francis  W. 

Hiram  Mendenhall  is  independent  in  politics.  He  believes  more  in  the 
virtue  of  measures  and  men  than  he  does  in  parties  and  party  emblems.  He 
served  as  trustee  of  Douglass  township  at  one  time.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Menden- 
hall and  children  are  members  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church.  Mr. 
Mendenhall  is  not  a  member  of  any  lodge. 


Fortunate  indeed  is  the  family  which  can  trace  its  history  back  for  more 
than  three  generations,  and  there  are  very  few  in  this  country  that  can  do 
more  than  trace  their  genealogy  back  as  far  as  four  generations.  The  Rob- 
erts family  history  has  been  traced  in  an  unbroken  line  to  the  eleventh  cen- 
tury and  investigation  has  shown  its  descendants  by  the  thousands.  They 
are  found  scattered  over  Europe  and  over  many  of  the  states  in  this  country, 
and  wherever  they  are  found  they  rank  among  the  best  families  of  the  com- 
munity. It  is  not  strange  to  record,  therefore,  that  the  representative  of  this 
family  in  Audubon  county  is  one  of  the  leading  citizens  of  the  county  and 
ranks  high  as  a  member  of  the  community,  who  is  active  in  civic,  religious 
and  business  affairs.  A  famous  historian  once  wrote,  "Show  me  a  people 
that  has  no  pride  of  ancestry^,  and  Pll  show  you  a  non-progressive  and  back- 
ward race."  This  is  quite  true.  The  investigator  and  writer  has  found,  as  a 
result  of  years  spent  in  historical  and  genealogical  work,  that  the  best  and 
most  progressive  communities